O'Hara's eyes on Irish prize

Cambridge still keen on signing Hoolahan deal

Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara

Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara says he hopes a loan spell in the lower leagues, with Burton Albion, can help him achieve success at international level with Ireland.

O'Hara (23) has yet to play for the first team at United, spending time on loan to Morecambe and Macclesfield, the keeper playing a big role in Macclesfield's success in avoiding relegation last season.

Effectively fourth-choice keeper at Old Trafford, the club have agreed another loan spell and he will spend the coming season on loan to Nigel Clough's League One side Burto n.

He trained with the senior Ireland squad under Martin O'Neill and the former U21 cap is keen to move up the ladder at international level.

"I'm ready to step up to that next level and show that I'm more than capable of climbing the leagues and reaching, hopefully one day, the Premier League," says O'Hara.

"I hope I can play regularly and put in top performances for Burton. If that's recognised, hopefully that will help me make the next step of becoming a full senior international."

Another English-born player is also looking for a loan spell to give him exposure with Ireland, as defender Sean Raggett wants to impress while on loan from Premier League newcomers Norwich City to Portsmouth.

Raggett, who is eligible through his Cork-born father, didn't feature for Norwich in their promotion-winning season last term as he was on loan, to Rotherham, and will be loaned out next season with Pompey.

"From when I have been a kid, becoming a Republic of Ireland international has always been one of my ambitions," told the Portsmouth News.

"That's something sometime in the future I can achieve because it would be something special. It would be a really special moment if I could achieve that - but first I have to work hard for Portsmouth and then see what happens."

Raggett has not been capped at any level by Ireland, his only international involvement in 2015 when he played for an England 'C' team against the Irish U21s.

Meanwhile, League Two side Cambridge United are still hopeful of sealing a deal with former Ireland man Wes Hoolahan.

A free agent following his release by West Brom, Hoolahan had spent time on trial with Cambridge and will link up with them again next week for a training camp in Scotland, boss Colin Calderwood confident that Hoolahan (37) has something to offer despite his age.

"Wes has been great, terrific with the rest of the players," Calderwood said.

"He's been very amenable with them all and make them feel comfortable with him, which they obviously should do, he's a good guy.

"Wes is good for next week, which we knew about, and he's going to join us in Scotland and after that week, hopefully we'll have positive news to come for the fans."