Five League of Ireland players to keep your eye on in 2016
1. Daryl Horgan (Dundalk)
The Dundalk winger could be the next big export out of the League of Ireland.
Horgan has a very similar style to former Irish international Damien Duff, due to his willingness to get on the ball and take on opposition defenders with his close control and dribbling ability.
The 23-year-old was named in the PFAI team of the year last year but lost out on the individual prize to former teammate Richie Towell.
This will be the Galway man’s third season with the Lilywhites having signed a new contract at the end of 2015, after scoring 11 goals in 41 appearances last season.
2. Brandon Miele (Shamrock Rovers)
Miele was named PFAI Young Player of the Year last season and was the only Shamrock Rovers player to be included in the PFAI Team of the Year.
A former Newcastle United youth player, Miele returned to Ireland in 2014 after struggling with injury toward the end of his spell with the Magpies.
Last season, the 21-year-old was named Shamrock Rovers Player of the Year after he became the first Rovers midfielder to get into double figures in over 21 years.
His prolific scoring record combined with his clever movement earned him his first Ireland U21 cap in November’s friendly against Norway.
3. Andy Boyle (Dundlak)
Boyle is a commanding centre-back that has an excellent understanding of the game.
The 24-year-old played in every league game last season as Dundalk retained their league title. He was also one of the seven Dundalk players included in the last season’s Team of the Year.
Boyle is entering his fourth year with Dundalk but the best may be yet to come for the young yet experienced defender.
4. Christy Fagan (St. Patrick’s Athletic)
A former Manchester United trainee, Fagan is the most potent striker in the league.
The 2014 PFAI Player of the Year was hampered by injury last year, managing only six goals after hitting the magical 20-goal mark in 2014.
In Fagan’s absence last year St Pat’s struggled to find the back of the net, with their goals tally in the league down over 20% but should Fagan regain his match fitness this year, the Inchicore club should be a much more dangerous prospect.
5. Keith Treacy (St Patrick’s Athletic)
The former Belvedere man was seen as one of Ireland’s brightest prospects when he broke into the Blackburn Rovers side in 2008.
However a mix of injuries and lack of form has seen the winger live somewhat of a nomadic existence since making his Premier League debut.
Spells at Preston, Burnley and Barnsley mixed with temporary stints at both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, have not helped the winger to build a settled platform to add to the six Ireland caps he won under Giovanni Trapattoni.
Treacy moves to St Pats having been relegated with Drogheda United last season. His two goals in eight matches were not enough to save the club from the drop having joined towards the end of the 2015 season after his contract with Barnsley was terminated.
— St Patrick's Ath (@stpatsfc) November 20, 2015