English clubs gather to watch O'Shea


SOCCER LEAGUE OF IRELAND:JAY O’SHEA will be central to much attention once again at Richmond Park tonight when at least five English clubs will watch the Galway United captain against St Patrick’s Athletic.

The Ireland under-21 international right winger thought he’d secured a move to Derby County last December but the deal fell through after the Championship side’s manager, Paul Jewell, resigned.

O’Shea’s contract expires in November but Galway are keen to cash in on their star asset, even though they would be entitled to compensation should he move at end of the season. Representatives from Swansea City, Middlesbrough and Stoke City are believed to have watched O’Shea in last week’s game with Cork City.

West Ham have been the most high-profile club to covet O’Shea, having run the rule over him in a game against his former club Bray in March before watching him again in a Uefa Under-21 Championship qualifier against Turkey in Cork later that month.

West Ham’s chief scout, Roger Cross, will be just one interested spectator in Inchicore tonight as it’s understood 20-year-old Dubliner O’Shea will also be watched by scouts from Middlesbrough, again, Nottingham Forest, Peterborough and Bournemouth.

Seán Kelly, ineligible last week as he’s on loan from Cork, should return to Galway’s midfield tonight. Wingers Derek O’Brien (hamstring) and Shane Fitzgerald (ankle) are again likely to miss out as Ian Foster’s side strive to end a run that’s seen them take one point from their last six games.

St Patrick’s, buoyed by their second win of the season in Cork midweek, remain without skipper Mark Quigley (jaw), Mark Leech and Gary Dempsey (both broken legs) and Gints Freimanis who has a hand injury. Striker Glen Fitzpatrick shipped a knock at Turner’s Cross but should be passed fit with Damian Lynch. Fellow midfielder John Lester returns from a two-match ban.

Dundalk manager Seán Connor wants to maintain his side’s run as they go for a fourth win in succession, at home to league leaders Bohemians. “I think it’s very important we don’t get beaten,” said Connor, whose side lost 1-0 at home to Bohemians in the opening game before a 5-0 collapse at Dalymount Park in May. “The first goal will be very, very important.”

Midfielder Michael Daly is expected to be passed fit despite a head injury suffered in training. New signing, goalkeeper Peter Cherrie, will be added to the squad provided his clearance comes through in time.

Bohemians midfielder Gary Deegan is suspended while Graham Carey’s loan deal with Celtic is up. Defender Jason McGuinness and midfielders Glen Cronin, Anthony Murphy and Seán Byrne are all out injured.

Bottom-of-the-table Bray have left-back Dane Massey and midfielder Dave Mulcahy back from suspension to face third-placed Shamrock Rovers but are without defender Chris Deans (heel) and midfielders Chris Sheilds (suspended) and Colm Tresson (hamstring). Gareth Coughlan and Gary McCabe must pass fitness tests.

Rovers have midfielder Stephen Rice back from suspension, though manager Michael O’Neill must wait on defender Darragh Maguire (knee), Stephen Bradley (heel) and Seán O’Connor (ankle).

Derry are afflicted by injuries and suspensions ahead of Drogheda United’s visit to the Brandywell. Defender Mark McChrystal (cheekbone) and midfielders Barry Molloy (ankle), Kevin Deery (calf) and winger Liam Kearney (broken leg) remain out while left-back Steven Gray and midfielder Ciarán Martyn are banned. Unbeaten in five games, Drogheda add new signings, striker Guy Bates, who returns to the club, and ex-Bohemians winger Brendan McGill, to their squad.