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30th Dec 2016

Irish player overlooked by Martin O’Neill makes EFL team of the year

There's three Irish players in this team, and another who is eligible for O'Neill's team...

Robert Redmond

This is an impressive accolade for John Egan.

The Brentford defender  has been named in EFL team of the year for 2016, which features players from the Championship, League One and League Two. Egan is joined in the team by two other Irish players, a Northern Ireland international and a player who is eligible for Martin O’Neill’s team.

The Republic of Ireland manager has yet to call Egan into his squad, despite his impressive form. Egan is the son of former Kerry Gaelic footballer John Egan Sr.

Brentford v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship

The central defender was named in the League One team of the year last season, and earned a move from Gillingham to Brentford.

Egan has continued to excel in the Championship, featuring 23-times and scoring three goals already this season.

The 24-year-old joined Sunderland in 2011 and O’Neill was the club’s manager for a spell during Egan’s time at the Stadium of Light.

Egan suffered a double-leg break in 2012 while on-loan at Bradford, and O’Neill had some encouraging words for the player.

“If heart and desire are anything to go on, John will cakewalk his career,” the Ireland manager said at the time.

“I gave him a squad number in the first-team at the start of last season, almost as much for attitude as anything else. He’s got a fantastic attitude to do really well.”

O’Neill has yet to call him into the Ireland squad, but if he continues to play so well that may change for the World Cup qualifier against Wales in March.

The other Irish players in the team are Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Kieren Westwood.

Leeds United v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship

And Plymouth Argyle midfielder Graham Carey, who has scored nine goals and made eight assists already this season in League Two.


Barnsley winger Adam Hammill also makes the team and is eligible for the Republic of Ireland through his Irish-born grandparents. The 28-year-old came through Liverpool’s academy.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship

Wigan Athletic and Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg makes the team after being on-fire for most of the year.

Northern Ireland v Belarus - International Friendly

Here’s the team in full:


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