Ireland manager Martin O'Neill hoping to watch Dane Massey for Dundalk

The Republic of Ireland manager hinted that he will take a closer look at the Lilywhites defender after his impressive start to the season

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has suggested that he will watch Dundalk defender Dane Massey live after being made aware of his progress for the SSE Airtricity League champions.

The 26-year-old has featured in every minute of the champions’ campaign so far and his bright start to the season has led to former Shelbourne midfielder Stuey Byrne to call for his inclusion into any upcoming friendly squads.  "That left back position has been an issue for awhile now and there was a big deal being made out of Ward’s injury and the fact that he wouldn’t make the game," Byrne told Soccer Republic last month.

"Looking at Ward as a left full-back, if that is the bar that has been set it got me thinking and there isn’t that many out-and-out specialist left-fulls who are really good defenders. The player that came into my head was Dane Massey. For this particular game, it wasn’t the right week but considering that we have had issues in this position before, he would be worth a look in the squad for a friendly coming up."

However, O'Neill said he will need to see Massey in action himself before taking any decision on whether the full-back fits into his plans.

“Yes, I’ve kept an ear on him more than an eye if anything else and I hope at some stage to keep an eye on it,” said O’Neill.

With the left-back position seemingly up for grabs following unconvincing performances from Stephen Ward and most recently Robbie Brady, the Knocklyon native will be aiming to be the first League of Ireland based player to break into the international set-up since Cork City’s Joe Gamble in 2007.

Martin O’Neill was speaking at the Aviva Stadium as the FAI launched their 2015 SportsWorld Summer Soccer Schools.