Daryl scoops award after European run

North End winger Daryl Horgan was named League of Ireland player of the yearNorth End winger Daryl Horgan was named League of Ireland player of the year
North End winger Daryl Horgan was named League of Ireland player of the year
Preston winger Daryl Horgan has been recognised for his form in the colours of former club Dundalk.

Horgan scooped the SSE Airtricity League Player of the Year honour at the Three FAI International Football Awards in Dublin on Sunday night.

One of the players he beat to the award was North End team-mate Andy Boyle.

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The pair joined PNE in January on the back of a great season with Dundalk, both domestically and in the Europa Cup.

Horgan scored 10 goals as Dundalk won the League of Ireland, battled through to reach the final qualifying round of the Champions League and played in the group stages of the 
Europa League.

One of those goals came in the Europa League against Zenit St Petersburg.

The 24-year-old has settled well in English football, the 2-2 draw against Blackburn on Saturday his 13th appearance for PNE.

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Boyle played at Ewood Park, having had to wait a while longer to pull on a North End shirt – his debut came at Derby a fortnight ago.

Together with Lilywhites team-mate Aiden McGeady, Horgan and Boyle have made the final cut in the Republic of Ireland for the games against Wales and Iceland during the international break.

The trio had been named in the initial 39-man squad and that has now been whittled down to 28 by Martin O’Neill.

The Republic of Ireland play Wales in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin on Friday.

They then host Iceland next Tuesday in a friendly.

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Horgan and Boyle’s chance is more likely to come against Iceland, bearing in mind they are yet to be capped.

McGeady is set to make the matchday squad for the Wales game.

A veteran of 86 caps, he has been in fine form for Preston and netted their 93rd-minute equaliser at Blackburn.

His last cap was as an 85th-minute substitute in the ROI’s 1-0 win over Austria in Vienna last November.

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In fact, most of his caps in the last couple of years have been from the bench.

After naming the 39-man squad last week, Irish boss O’Neill said: “I think Aiden’s had a look at himself and 
realised, ‘I’ve really got to do something, I’m not getting any younger.’

“It’s great to see him 
looking fitter and more 
athletic and that comes from playing a lot of games.

“His confidence is definitely 
up and you know he’s a 
confidence player anyway.”