Wednesday 22 November 2017

'It was a nice surprise': Dundalk duo delighted to get a chance to impress O'Neill and Keane in Ireland set-up

Aidan Fitzmaurice in St Petersburg

Dundalk man Andy Boyle is determined to make the most of his historic call-up to the senior Ireland squad for next week's World Cup qualifier in Austria.

Boyle and his Dundalk team-mate Daryl Horgan were included in the squad named by Martin O'Neill this morning for the Vienna trip, and while there's no guarantee they will make the cut for the final 23-man squad, Dubliner Boyle plans to showcase his talent to O'Neill and Roy Keane, and he also feels that other League of Ireland players can follow suit.

"We have proved a lot, not just the two lads who have been picked but a few more lads could have been picked. With the calibre of players we are playing against it gives you a chance to go and prove yourself, long may it continue for lads throughout the league," Boyle said this morning at Dundalk's team hotel in St Petersburg, with the Lilywhites in Russia for tomorrow's Europa League tie with Zenit.

"I only found out last night when we landed, the gaffer said it to me on the bus on the way in so it was a nice surprise, I will look forward to it but we have a big week ahead first of all.

"It's nice to get into the squad and hopefully I can go on from there, I am looking forward to getting going," added Boyle, last involved with Ireland at U19 level.

"All you can do is try to perform as best you can, the Europa League group games have helped, he [Martin O'Neill] has seen us play at a better standard than usual in the league, if you perform well in those games you will be in the shop window.

"The hope is to get into the 23, the first thing is to enjoy this part of it, we have a big week to look forward to, I don't know the details of next week, where we meet up and that but I will go in, do my best and hopefully impress Martin and Roy."

Apart from the recent call-up for fellow Lilywhite Gary Rogers, this is the first time a home-based player has been named in the senior squad for a competitive game since Glen Crowe (Bohemians) in 2001.

Boyle added: "It hasn't happened that often, not for qualifiers, I know it has happened in friendly games for League of Ireland players so to get that recognition is great, but plenty of players in the league could do it."

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