Preston's Sean Maguire earns Ireland call before vital World Cup qualifiers

Lloyd Doyle
August 14, 2017

O'Neill, who has made no secret of his desire to uncover somebody capable of scoring regularly for Ireland, gave the impression that Maguire's call-up might have been delayed somewhat by his overall performance in last season's FAI Cup final despite the then City player ultimately scoring the dame's only goal in extra time.

O'Neill selected a provisional 39-man panel for the games as Ireland aim to push towards qualification for next summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

The Kilkenny man has been given his first senior call up, having scored 20 goals for Cork City in the Premier Division prior to his move to Preston North End last month. "I hope he can get a chance", the Irish boss said of Maguire at today's press conference.

There are also places for new club-mate Greg Cunningham, who last represented his country against Poland in February 2013, and uncapped duo Matt Doherty of Wolves and Reading's Liam Kelly.

"I've seen him since".

"I thought he was excellent (in Cork's 3-0 win) against Dundalk".

McCarthy was ruled out of Everton's game at the weekend but O'Neill says he believes that this was merely a matter of match fitness and that the player has told him that he feels okay.

But O'Neill reckons that it will likely require Ireland to go unbeaten for the remaining four games.

"These two matches will make ferocious inroads into the make up of the group - goal difference is pretty important too", said O'Neill.

O'Neill's side are level on points with group leaders Serbia, who they play in Dublin on 5 September and three days after the away encounter against Georgia. There are hard matches coming up.

Preston's Seani Maguire has been handed a first call up by O'Neill, with Matt Doherty and Liam Kelly also included in the 39 man squad.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article