An Irish eye on tonight's Championship playoff games

An Irish eye on tonight's Championship playoff games

THE ACTION kicks off tonight.

The playoff final in the Championship is arguably the biggest game in football. One game decides whether you are playing in the biggest league in the world, or if you have to battle it out in the Championship over the course of a very long season that can be as ruthless as it gets.

And as is often the case in Championship sides, there are some Irish lads involved. Here's who you can keep an eye on:


Conor Hourihane deserves to be playing football in the Premier League, and might just be doing so regardless of how the next few days go.

He's only on loan from Aston Villa, but has made such an impact at the Welsh club that if they are to go up, he will surely be signed.

Galway's Ryan Manning will also be unlucky if he doesn't get some game time, having played 17 times this season.


Shane Long went on loan to the Cherries from Southampton earlier this season, and while he didn't exactly hit the ground running, he did bag two goals in 11 appearances for the side in their promotion run.

Long will be doing well to get a start, but could well be brought on if they are chasing a goal.

Meanwhile, young goalkeeper Mark Travers will probably be on the bench for the big games, and could be called into action in the event of an unfortunate injury.

Gavin Kilkenny may also be on the bench, and could benefit the most from Bournemouth going up, as he definitely has a big future ahead of him.


Alex Gilbert is a promising youngster who will be watching on and hoping that his teammates ensure he is a Premier League player next year.

He is yet to appear for the senior side, but is highly rated by those within the club so he may be sticking around for a while.


Nobody in Barnsley's current squad is Irish, so we'll have to root for Swansea for now...