Owen Heary on why it'll be harder for LOI players to follow in Hoolahan and Forrester's footsteps

Ex-Bohs and Shelbourne legend chats to Newstalk's Airtricity League podcast

Owen Heary on why it'll be harder for LOI players to follow in Hoolahan and Forrester's footsteps

Owen Heary ©INPHO/James Crombie

This week's international break saw an interesting development as Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers got to train with the Republic of Ireland senior squad. 

The current international setup also contains plenty of names who once plied their trade in the League of Ireland, but how much of a boost is Rogers' invite to the domestic league?

Former Bohemians and Shelbourne star Owen Heary reckons it's a good boost for the league, although he added that one mustn't get totally carried away given the circumstances.

But in terms of a steady stream of players moving from the League of Ireland, then to the UK and onwards to international level, will that past trend continue?

"It was a good platform, especially for the likes of Wes and Kevin Doyle. But they came through the league at a time when it was professional and full-time. It's a lot different than it is now. I think that was the platform that helped them progress over to England," he told Oisin Langan and Richie McCormack on Newstalk's Airtricity League podcast, while explaining how the mostly part-time nature of today hampers things for players.

"I can't see a lot of players progressing the way they have done over the couple of years because of the league." 

Listen to the full interview on Newstalk's Airtrcity League podcast:

Owen also gave his take on how Pat Fenlon will react to his Shamrock Rovers' 2-0 defeat at the hands of Saint Patrick's Athletic last Friday, while he also looked ahead to the clash between Pats and Dundalk, who lost to title rivals Cork City last time out.

"They've got some good wins under their belt and they go into the Dundalk game with great momentum. The opposite side, Dundalk, I wouldn't say they would be panicking yet. It's just one defeat but again, it's against one of the title rivals so they won't be happy about that. I'm sure [Stephen] Kenny, like what Pat [Fenlon] does, will give them a gameplan and try and rectify that and push them up the table," he said.