Former Cork City star Sean Maguire wants more international caps

Former Cork City striker Sean Maguire got his first taste of international soccer against Moldova

2018 World Cup Qualifying Group D: Wales v Republic of Ireland (Monday, Cardiff City Stadium, 7.45pm)

PRESTON North End’s new striker Sean Maguire said it was “an incredible feeling” to make his Republic of Ireland debut against Moldova last Friday and is hungry for more appearances in the green jersey.

The former Cork City ace got the biggest cheer of the night after he finally made his senior debut as a late substitute for Shane Long.

Two years ago he couldn’t get a game for Dundalk before he made the move to Cork City where he flourished.

Last season, he grabbed the only goal in the FAI Cup final against his former club Dundalk and was already on the wanted list of several English League clubs.

“The last time I was here [Aviva Stadium], I was scoring the winner for Cork City,” said the 24-year-old, who has bagged two goals for Championship club Preston this season.

“I could never have imagined that a year later I would be back making my international debut. Hopefully it's the start of many caps.

“When the crowd is singing your name, it's hard to put it into words what it actually means to me.”

Given his relative inexperience at the top level, the Kilkenny native is still some way off winning a starting place in Martin O’Neill’s team – but he remains an intriguing option for the side should they be chasing the game in Cardiff tonight.

“I've obviously got my competitive debut under my belt now so I'll be looking for more. I've got my first taste for it, and looking forward to Monday.”

Maguire was joined on international duty by new recruit Scott Hogan of Aston Villa, while Daryl Horgan, Conor Hourihane and Callum O’Dowda are other names that are likely to become more involved in Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

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