Dundalk star Sean Maguire: We're set on winning the double
WITH his first Ireland U21 cap and his debut goal for Dundalk already crossed off the bucket list, Sean Maguire has now set his sights on a double success with the Co Louth club.
The Kilkenny native wasn't even born the last time Dundalk won the double (1988) but with an FAI Cup semi-final place already secured, and an eight-point lead at the top of the table with six games to go, it's certainly looking good for Maguire's and his team-mates.
Maguire spent a lot of time treading water since he left the League of Ireland (Waterford United) to join West Ham in 2013, access to first-team football only coming via loan spells, and it also took the 21-year-old time to settle in Oriel Park when he moved there in July after his release from West Ham, but now he's relishing a strong finish to the season.
"The main reason I came here was to contribute as much as I can and help the club win the two big trophies in Ireland, the league and the FAI Cup, and hopefully we can do that," says Maguire.
"We have a tough derby game against Drogheda tonight, local derbies are always hard, but our form is good and I am delighted with how things are going.
"There is a bit of pressure on us now as people are starting to talk about the FAI Cup. We're not thinking about the Cup final or even the semi-final yet, as far as we are concerned, we have six cup finals in the league left, we aim to win all of them and make sure of the league title," added Maguire, who netted his first goal for Stephen Kenny's side in last week's trouncing of Sligo Rovers in the FAI Cup quarter-final
"I scored with my first touch against Sligo last week but being honest, I should have had a hat-trick in the Sligo game, I hit the crossbar with one and was offside with the other one but it was a big relief to see my first goal for Dundalk go in," he says.
"It's a great team to play in as a striker. You have Daryl Horgan on the left and Darren Meenan on the right and you never know which way they are going to turn, they just destroy defenders with all the work they do."
It's been a busy time for the striker as he combined domestic and international duties - Maguire was the only home-based player to feature for the U21 side in their Euro qualifier win away to Andorra two weeks ago.
"It's been going really well for me lately," says Maguire. "I played for the U21s in a friendly against Qatar and then played again in the qualifier in Andorra, I came on in the Cup game against Sligo and scored and my fitness is getting better all the time."