Sunday 19 November 2017

Maguire postponing transfer talk until end of crucial Cork season

Cork City striker Sean Maguire with the SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month Award for March. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cork City striker Sean Maguire with the SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month Award for March. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Cork City star Sean Maguire has indicated that he is keen to delay any decision on his future until the end of the season.

The Kilkenny-born attacker is attracting attention after carrying his sparkling form from 2016 into the new campaign with his goals central to Cork's 100pc start to the season.

That has led to transfer speculation with Preston and Charlton linked with a move for the 22-year-old's services.

And Maguire has also been mentioned as a possible option for Ireland's summer internationals due to Martin O'Neill's problems in the forward department.

It's giddy talk for a player who hit rock bottom when a stint at West Ham failed to work out and then couldn't break into Stephen Kenny's Dundalk side.

Scoffed His fortunes changed when Cork came calling 18 months ago and John Caulfield stated that he wanted to play Maguire as a number nine, his first-choice attacker through the middle.

It has brought his game to another level, and Caulfield last week scoffed at the suggestion that Charlton - a League One side - could be a possible destination because he felt that Maguire was capable of operating on a higher plain.

Cork rejected a bid for the poacher from Belgium last summer and are likely to reject any offers midway through this campaign because winning the league would be worth more to them when European rewards are factored in.

Read more: Milltown memories draw mixed emotions

And, speaking after being named Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month for March, Maguire suggested that his next career move will come in November.

"My long-term goal would be to play at the highest level," he said. "If it's in England or if it's in Europe, I feel that I can go and play at that level.

"But I'm contracted to Cork City and my short-term goal is to do my best for John and for the team.

"Obviously it's nice to have speculation and rumours, I'm very flattered that there are big clubs having a bit of interest.

"But I'm not really too bothered on that, there is nothing I can do until the end of season when I am out of contract. And if they do come in for me, I'll deal with it when the time comes."

Maguire is looking to the success of ex-Dundalk duo Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle as inspiration. They were capped for Ireland last month after settling in well at Preston.

"Look at the two boys now, they're flying in the Championship," he said. "People need to take it into consideration, they've been going non-stop since last January. So they must be absolutely beat.

"It's great for us young players in the League of Ireland, it looks good for us that two boys from Dundalk can go to England at a high level, Preston are a big club and are pushing for promotion.

"You see Daryl there, he came on for Ireland - I watched the game against Iceland - and I thought he was unbelievable for the last half hour, he tried to make things happen. They are role models for young players in this league."

And Maguire got his head down over the winter in order to make the improvements he felt were necessary to bring his own levels up.

"I felt that I needed to get a bit quicker," he explains. "Last season, I know I scored a lot of goals but I felt that I could have an extra yard.

sharper "I can move quicker now, I'm sharper and a big thing was I had to become stronger, not to bulk up, but to use my body. I'm quite small so it can be hard for me coming up against big centre-halves.

"But this season, I'm starting to come into games where I know even if I'm playing against two big centre-halves, I can bully them and I'm starting to show that. It's a credit to the staff at Cork City.

"I know you want to enjoy your off-season but I worked hard in the off-season with Kev Tattan (strength and conditioning coach) and the physical side of the game has improved. Each game, I feel like I'm improving."

Irish Independent

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