Finishing as the top scorer for Waterford United in the First Division in 2012, Seani Maguire was signed by West Ham in January 2013 by then manager Sam Allardyce.
Three years on and after loan spells with Sligo Rovers and Accrington Stanley and a brief move to Dundalk last season the 21-year-old has hit the ground running for Cork City with four goals so far in the Airtricity League.
His time in England has brought him on immensely, he feels “mentally and physically” much stronger and is hoping to show that this season under the guidance of John Caulfield.
Currently in fifth place, three points off the leaders Derry City, albeit with a game in hand, the striker has his eyes on the title.
Things started off very well for myself, I’m enjoying it and I mean obviously the aim for the season is to win the league.
Cork City finished second last season to Dundalk and after losing the services of talisman and top goal scorer Richie Towell to Brighton they are perceived to be more beatable this season than before.
Maguire, having himself jumped from Oriel Park to Turners Cross doesn’t believe they will be much worse off this season even without their key player.
I don’t think they’ve gotten much worse obviously if you take 30 goals out of any team its going to take its toll but they signed two quality players in [Robbie] Benson and [Patrick] McEleney.
Dundalk are always going to be the team to beat.
Had things played out differently Maguire could easily still be taking to the field as a Dundalk player and admits he had hoped for a better outcome to his time under Stephen Kenny.
My plan was to get into the team and try and get back to England but it just didn’t work out, I started one game I think I played on the wing, obviously I’ll play wherever the gaffer put me but playing on the wing is not my natural position.
Indeed, things didn’t go to plan at Dundalk but Maguire isn’t dwelling on the past and the man who started his career at Waterford United is just intent on doing good things in the rebel county.
At the moment I’m just concentrating on trying to play for Cork and trying to win the league and score as many goals as I can.
The lads down here are the best dressing room I’ve been in I think so I am enjoying it.
While he is investing himself fully in Cork City and trying to do the best he can there he is in no doubt that England is where he wants to be in the future.
Having gotten his opportunity with West Ham and ultimately failing to impress enough to stay Maguire admits he was “devastated” when his contract wasn’t renewed but is all the more determined now to prove he is good enough.
The long term goal is to get back to England and if I keep playing the way I am and keep my head down I will hopefully get the chance.
I enjoyed my time there (at West Ham) playing with the 21’s , I was on the bench there once but didn’t get many opportunities.
A loan move to Sligo shortly after joining the Hammers didn’t go exactly to plan, Maguire citing low confidence as a factor but it was another loan spell at Accrington Stanley where he found his feet under the man he played for at Sligo, John Coleman.
Seven goals in 33 games was a good return for the young man and had given him the impression that his performances warranted a contract renewal at West Ham but it wasn’t to be.
At Accrington I did very well and personally I thought I was going to get another contract at West Ham I was a bit devastated when they told me they weren’t renewing my contract.
This brought him back to the League of Ireland where he signed for Dundalk but the failure to make it at the top level in England hasn’t put him off wanting to get there again.
In fact he believes the experienced he gained during his time playing at Accrington and amongst the first team at West Ham has been invaluable.
Many Irish players head for the promise land of England each year, few of whom make it to the highest level and Maguire explained that it “can be hard” making the move.
Your attitude needs to be spot on, determination, believing in yourself. It’s hard though when you’re in England.
It’s easier looking from the outside you can say ‘oh he should be doing this he should be doing that’ but there’s a lot going on for young players there’s a lot of players at the same level as you its just about who wants it more.
As stated, Maguire’s immediate plans are to do his best for Cork and hopefully win the league, further down the line is the move to England. One of his biggest long-term goals is to make it into the International set-up.
Having featured on eight occasions for the Irish Under 21’s he has the ambition to be playing for the senior side in the coming years.
Any young fella who has ambitions of playing at the highest level wants to be in England and then being an international player so hopefully some day I’ll get back to England and get into the books of the senior team.