Top 5 Prospects For The Republic Of Ireland In 2016
July 29, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

A productive, but not excellent, EURO 2016 is behind us and all roads lead to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. It’s almost inevitable that the core of the Irish team for the last 10 years is about to be ripped apart with retirements. As the news breaks on the confirmed departure of Shay Given and both John O’Shea and Robbie Keane looking destined to exit international football sooner rather than later.

But all hope is not lost because Ireland do have a couple of tricks up there sleeve. Here are some of the players I think can make their mark on this qualifying campaign.

Harry Arter (Bournemouth)

The central midfielder is just hitting the prime of his career and is playing regularly in the middle of the park for a Bournemouth team who had an excellent opening campaign in the Premier League. His rise to prominence was hindered with personal tragedy and injury but in 2016, Arter is the man I think will slot in and provide some composure in the Irish midfield. An excellent ball player and intelligent with movement, he could be as influential as Wes Hoolahan.

Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City)

The English born winger has recently been snapped up by Championship club Bristol from Oxford and hopes are high that he can light up the championship. He was part of O’Neill’s preliminary squad for the Euros but failed to make the final 23. He did get his first cap for Ireland in the disappointing 2-1 defeat to Belarus late in May this year. At just 21, his best years are ahead of him and he is a big one to watch in the coming years.

Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers)

Lenihan is a big strong midfielder with plenty of ability. He’s featured in the championship for Blackburn Rovers and has also captained the Ireland u21 team which he first joined in 2014. He may need to work hard to force himself into a team currently hosting Arter, Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy in his preferred position but a strong run of games for his club and anything could happen for the Dunboyne native.

Conor Wilkinson (Bolton Wanderers)

Might just be getting a bit ahead of myself tipping Wilkinson to be a part of the next qualifying campaign but the young striker looks very promising. He’s found the net for the u21s and in various loan spells. He isn’t prolific enough to take the mantle of Robbie Keane’s successor but any help for Shane Long and Daryl Murphy is very welcome.

Jack Byrne (Manchester City)

A lot has been said and written about Byrne before as a potential star for Ireland. He started his football with St. Kevin’s Boys before going on to Manchester City’s academy. A loan spell last season with Cambuur in Holland saw him impress in their midfield and this time around, he’ll be playing with Blackburn in the championship so a closer eye can be cast on him by Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane. He has represented Ireland at every age group since u16.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Posts

Top 5 Prospects For The Republic Of Ireland In 2016
July 29, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

A productive, but not excellent, EURO 2016 is behind us and all roads lead to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. It’s almost inevitable that the core of the Irish team for the last 10 years is about to be ripped apart with retirements. As the news breaks on the confirmed departure of Shay Given and both John O’Shea and Robbie Keane looking destined to exit international football sooner rather than later.

But all hope is not lost because Ireland do have a couple of tricks up there sleeve. Here are some of the players I think can make their mark on this qualifying campaign.

Harry Arter (Bournemouth)

The central midfielder is just hitting the prime of his career and is playing regularly in the middle of the park for a Bournemouth team who had an excellent opening campaign in the Premier League. His rise to prominence was hindered with personal tragedy and injury but in 2016, Arter is the man I think will slot in and provide some composure in the Irish midfield. An excellent ball player and intelligent with movement, he could be as influential as Wes Hoolahan.

Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City)

The English born winger has recently been snapped up by Championship club Bristol from Oxford and hopes are high that he can light up the championship. He was part of O’Neill’s preliminary squad for the Euros but failed to make the final 23. He did get his first cap for Ireland in the disappointing 2-1 defeat to Belarus late in May this year. At just 21, his best years are ahead of him and he is a big one to watch in the coming years.

Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers)

Lenihan is a big strong midfielder with plenty of ability. He’s featured in the championship for Blackburn Rovers and has also captained the Ireland u21 team which he first joined in 2014. He may need to work hard to force himself into a team currently hosting Arter, Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy in his preferred position but a strong run of games for his club and anything could happen for the Dunboyne native.

Conor Wilkinson (Bolton Wanderers)

Might just be getting a bit ahead of myself tipping Wilkinson to be a part of the next qualifying campaign but the young striker looks very promising. He’s found the net for the u21s and in various loan spells. He isn’t prolific enough to take the mantle of Robbie Keane’s successor but any help for Shane Long and Daryl Murphy is very welcome.

Jack Byrne (Manchester City)

A lot has been said and written about Byrne before as a potential star for Ireland. He started his football with St. Kevin’s Boys before going on to Manchester City’s academy. A loan spell last season with Cambuur in Holland saw him impress in their midfield and this time around, he’ll be playing with Blackburn in the championship so a closer eye can be cast on him by Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane. He has represented Ireland at every age group since u16.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Posts