In December 2016, Preston North End went down a route that would become seemingly a seasonal thing as they raided the League of Ireland for one of its star talents in Daryl Horgan.
Then owner Trevor Hemmings had always had an interest in Irish football with the likes of Alan Browne being cherry-picked to come to PNE at a young age, but Horgan, along with Dundalk team-mate Andy Boyle, were starring at a senior level.
The winger had a productive 2016 season with the Irish champions, scoring nine times and assisting right goals which saw North End take a punt on the then-24-year-old – he even featured in the Europa League and scored away at Zenit St. Petersburg.
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Horgan would feature regularly under Simon Grayson in the second half of the 2016-17 season but when Alex Neil arrived in the summer his chances were limited to 20 Championship outings – the majority off the bench.
Having left Deepdale in the summer of 2018, what has Horgan been up to since?
Horgan headed north of the border to Hibernian of the Scottish Premiership in 2018, and Easter Road is somewhere where the wide player saw lots of minutes with 34 league appearances in his debut campaign, scoring three times and assisting eight goals.
He would have mixed success the following season as he spent as much time on the bench as he did on the pitch from the start, but after starting the 2020/21 season as part of an unbeaten Hibs team, Horgan headed back to the Championship with Wycombe Wanderers.
Linking up with another former North Ender in Gareth Ainsworth, Horgan played 40 times for the Chairboys however he failed to hit the back of the net in the league as they went straight back down to League One.
Horgan is enjoying life in League One right now though having netted his first league goal for the club in a 4-3 win over Morecambe last week and is playing through the middle of the park, spending time as both an attacking midfielder and a striker.
Despite now playing in the third tier of English football, it hasn’t stopped Horgan’s international career with the Republic of Ireland, with Stephen Kenny continuing to select him.
He’s amassed 17 caps for his nation and his first goal came earlier this year against Andorra – judging by the fact he started against Azerbaijan this week he seems to be a key part of Kenny’s plans going forward.