Brian Kerr: Sean Maguire will not get an Ireland cap "until he goes to Preston and scores goals"

The Cork City striker will move to The Championship club at the end of next month

Brian Kerr: Sean Maguire will not get an Ireland cap "until he goes to Preston and scores goals"

Cork's Sean Maguire Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr has said Sean Maguire had to move to Preston North End for the chance to break into the Irish senior squad.

The Under-21 international has impressed this season in the League of Ireland, scoring 16 goals in 17 league matches. On Saturday, Preston announced that Maguire will join the squad at the end of July.

"I think in the expanded squad Martin O'Neill might have used him", Kerr told RTE's Soccer Republic, "but he's not going to be in the Irish team until he goes to Preston and scores goals."

Kerr feels that Maguire could have forced his way into the squad as a Cork player, but the team would need to impress like Dundalk did last season in the Europa League.

"We saw what happened with Daryl Horgan of Dundalk last year and Andy Boyle. The manager of the international team needs to be convinced that the player can do it at a better level than the League of Ireland. We've got Cork and Dundalk, two very good sides, competing against each other and he scored three goals."

"What convinced Martin O'Neill to put [the Dundalk duo] into the squad last year was the performances in Europe against the likes of Legia Warsaw, BATE Borisov and AZ Alkmaar. In all those European games, Dundalk were outstanding. Both of those players looked like they could rise up and play at that level."

"I think it's very difficult for the international manger to think a player is good enough playing against the current League of Ireland teams."

"The game has improved to a degree but it's not at the level where a manager could say; 'This player is good enough. I could trust him to play a match against Austria or Serbia in our group.'"

"The manager needs to be convinced of the player's performances at a higher level."