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From Jack's army to Kenny's kids - how the profile of Irish Premier League players has changed over last 30 years

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Gavin Bazunu: Should be challenging for a first team place at Southampton. Photo: Sportsfile

Gavin Bazunu: Should be challenging for a first team place at Southampton. Photo: Sportsfile

Gavin Bazunu: Should be challenging for a first team place at Southampton. Photo: Sportsfile

Smaller in number, but younger, and more likely to have a Dublin accent than an English one – that’s the story, in one brief sentence, which sums up the changing face of the Irish Premier League footballer over the decades.

The flow of Irish talent out of the English top flight this summer to lower leagues would be alarming, if it wasn’t just part of a trend, which means that with the season starting this week, only six Republic of Ireland footballers (Séamus Coleman, Nathan Collins, Gavin Bazunu, Mark Travers, Matt Doherty and Shane Duffy) can expect to feature in the Premier League on a weekly basis.


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