GALWAY United boss Sean Connor has told cross-channel clubs to forget about trying to sign his star striker Karl Sheppard on the cheap.
Dubliner Sheppard has been in sensational form for Galway since his move from Everton at the start of this season, scoring seven goals for United.
He's earned praise on another stage too after making an impression when he came on as a sub for a League of Ireland selection against Manchester United two weeks ago, United skipper John O'Shea singling Sheppard out for praise.
And the forward came under the spotlight again last weekend, playing for Galway in their 2-0 win over Bohemians. More than half a dozen British clubs were represented at the game in Dalymount Park, many of them -- including Derby County boss Nigel Clough -- coming to see Bohs striker Paddy Madden.
But Madden only got a run out for half an hour as a sub and failed to make a big impression as a dismal Bohs side went down 2-0 to a nine-man Galway team and even though Sheppard didn't score he certainly made people take note of his name with a selfless display up front.
"I know that Nigel Clough was at our game on Friday but in terms of Karl he will need to get in the queue and get his chequebook out and spend a bit of money," said Connor after earning his second win in three games against his old club this season.
"That's what's wrong with this league, too many of our players go across the water cheaply. If Sheppard was playing in the Conference in England, clubs would pay at least £250,000 for him and wouldn't blink an eye, but they come over here and try to rob us, they think we are stupid.
"Karl is a top, top player. And he is happy to stay here at this club, and until we get a right offer he will be going nowhere. Why would I let him go when he can give a performance like that? He is enjoying his football, he's very important to the team, he enjoys playing with these lads and that shows in his game.
"Karl was exceptional on Friday night and I told him after the game that that sort of work rate doesn't go unnoticed. Everyone knows what a good player he is and what a good finisher he is. He stretched Bohemians when we had ten men and again when we only had nine. His willingness to run and work for the team was tremendous. If you are going to play football at a higher level that has to be a basic in your game and he has that in abundance," added the Galway boss.
Connor, who left Bohs in 2007, certainly has the Indian sign over his former club as Galway have taken seven points from a possible nine against the Gypsies this season.
"I get great satisfaction in coming to Dalymount and winning, with nine men," he said.
"I want to keep this club in business and out of a relegation play-off and this week keeps us ticking along. Bohemians are after different goals to ourselves, but to come here and win in the fashion we did is very pleasing."