One of the longest serving players within the current Oriel Park home dressing room, Dundalk full-back Dane Massey is regarded by many as one of the finest left-backs to ever grace the League of Ireland. Collecting a staggering fourth league title last Friday night under Stephen Kenny’s reign at Dundalk, former Cherry Orchard man Massey knows exactly what it is like to be caught up in the middle of international recognition speculation.
For many seasons the now thirty-year-old defender was mentioned by supporters and pundits alike as a ready-made senior international for the “boys in green” but sadly given a historical preference from Irish national team managers for British based players it’s difficult to say how close the Dublin native ever came to pulling on the Green jersey.
With the Republic of Ireland set to face rivals Northern Ireland, who are managed by ex-Shamrock Rovers chief Michael O’Neill of course, in an international friendly at the Aviva Stadium on November 14, Massey and his “Lilywhite” team-mates will have one final chance to impress Martin O’Neill as the FAI Cup final between Dundalk and last season’s winners Cork City takes place at the same venue on November 4th.
A modest character, Massey displayed his team spirit and honesty as he highlighted the abilities of record-breaking Dundalk striker Patrick Hoban, while speaking on last night’s Between the Stripes LOI podcast “Dundalk FC Champions again” special edition.
“He (Martin O’Neill) could call up a number of League of Ireland players and Pat (Patrick Hoban) is one of them but I I don’t know if Martin O’Neill would be the one to do it (call up LOI players). I mean, Graham Burke went over to Preston and next of all he’s in the the Ireland squad, Seani Maguire was next. I don’t think he (O’Neill) will take the risk (of calling up LOI players) but if he did, I think he’d be pleasantly surprised by the standard.”
Going on to champion Hoban’s cause, former Bray Wanderers man Massey said: “I think Pat Hoban would be the ideal man at the minute with the striker crisis for the Irish team, I’ve no doubt he could step up to the standard but I don’t think Martin O’Neill would be the manager to take the risk.”
Ending the interview on Between the Stripes LOI podcast in a comical humor, Massey revealed he suffered an Injury of sorts inside the Dundalk changing room as the title celebrations got underway following Hoban’s last-gasp equaliser to secure the 2018 title in dramatic circumstances.
“We were celebrating in the changing room and unfortunately one of the bottles of champagne, Jamie McGrath jumped up singing Champions and flicked me and I lost my front tooth, bit of a disaster alright but I didn’t damp the mood really.”
To hear Dane Massey’s interview on Between the Stripes LOI podcast in full simply listen on the Audioboom player below. Alternatively, you can find the show on Itunes, SoundCloud, Spotify and many more. If you leave a review on Itunes for the show you will be entered into a draw for a Richie Towell print by LOI artist, Barry Masterson.