Sean Maguire claimsÂ former Dundalk duo Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle are great role models for young players in Ireland.
The pair were central to Dundalkâ€™s historic European run last season, and both have gone on to earn moves to Preston and represent the Republic of Ireland in the last 12 months.
Martin O’Neill handed both players their international debuts in last month’s 1-0 defeat to Iceland at the Aviva, and Maguire says Horgan “was unbelievable” in his half-hour appearance.
Maguire, 22, is in blistering form for Cork City, who are top of the SSE Airtricity League after an excellent start to the season.
The prolificÂ striker has been tipped to return to England (he had a spell at West Ham), and has revealed that he takes inspiration from the career trajectories ofÂ Horgan and Boyle.
“Look at the two boys now, theyâ€™re flying in the Championship,” said Maguire, in quotes reported by The Mirror. “People need to take it into consideration, theyâ€™ve been going non-stop since last January.
“So they must be absolutely beat. Itâ€™s great for us young players in the League of Ireland, it looks good for us that two boys from Dundalk can go to England at a high level.
“Preston are a big club and are pushing for promotion. Obviously itâ€™s harder for Andy being a centre half going to England to adapt but heâ€™s played a lot of games already.
“You feel next year is going to be his year, obviously have a break and a good pre-season.
“Daryl came on for Ireland against Iceland and I thought he was unbelievable for the last half hour and he tried to make things happen.
â€œI’m delighted for the two boys, they’re role models for young players in this league.”