St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin believes star man Jamie McGrath should already be in the Ireland squad – but the Buddies boss will be delighted when he eventually makes it.
McGrath has arguably been St Mirren’s best player this season and netted a double on Saturday as Saints beat Hamilton 3-0 in the Scottish Cup third round. The Irish midfielder has scored 13 goals with three assists this season and Goodwin hopes to cheer McGrath on in Irish green.
He explained: “The Republic of Ireland team is crying out for goals and creativity. Stephen Kenny has a hard enough job without me telling him who to pick but Jamie supplies both. I think he deserves to be in there ahead of some of the others currently in the squad.
“He sets the standards in training and if he can keep doing what he is doing he hopefully gets the recognition he deserves from the FAI. His first goal on Saturday was outstanding in terms of his technique and his composure. With no disrespect to anyone else, he is easily the best player I’ve ever worked with as a manager.
“All the other players look up to him, not because he’s a shouter and bawler or because he goes flying into tackles, but because of the courage he shows in the way he plays.”
McGrath himself is hoping for a call to his national team, saying it would be a ‘dream’: “For every player, the end goal is always to play for your country. As a kid you want to go and follow in your heroes’ footsteps.
“At the moment I want to try and contribute as much as I can to St Mirren, but it is a dream of mine, for sure. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to. I’ve been in underage groups before, I’ve played in the Under-19s and Under-21s. That was amazing, but if the chance came up to play for the senior team and get a senior cap – that would be a dream come true.”
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