A humbled Daryl Horgan says he is truly honoured to be named as the SWAI Player of the Month for May.
The former Cork City man had been a standout performer in May, with four of his seven goals this season coming in that month alone.
So good have his displays been that he beat off competition from teammate Chris Shields in the voting, the combative midfielder finishing second, with third place going to St Pat’s pair Christy Fagan and Conan Byrne.
“It is an unbelievable honour, it really is,” he began. “I think, more than anything else, it shows how well the team are doing.
“Obviously I got the few goals so the recognition is going to come my way but it has been a very good team performance and I think we have been very good as a team.
“Hopefully, we will continue to push on and be buoyed by how things are going for us.”
Horgan, 21, has picked up the award for the first time in his career. He joins Patrick Hoban and Richie Towell as having been honoured under Stephen Kenny and he believes that it is the nature of his position that helped him pip Shields to the post.
“Honestly, no I don’t target individual awards,” he continued. “When the team is doing well and I am too then I am going to be happy.
“It is always nice to get a bit of recognition and shows that you are playing well and people think that you are too which is nice but I really can’t stress enough, it is all about the team performing.
“I think Shieldsy was very unlucky not to win it. I think it is the attacking player who is favoured with the goals which matter more than anything else but Chris has really been frighteningly good over the past month or so and hopefully he keeps getting better and better. We all want to.”
For now, his attentions turn away from domestic duty and on to continental matters with Horgan unable to contain his infectious enthusiasm when discussing the European challenge ahead.
He also acknowledged that while his side may have a lack of experience at this level, they will look to supplement that with their quality.
He smiled: “I’m so excited for these games, I really am looking forward to it because I think playing in Europe will be a great experience for me.
“I have never played in Europe and there are a few lads in the team who are the same but if we go out and play the way we can then we will be a match for anyone.
“If you don’t do well, the experience thing is something that can be levelled at you,” he admitted. “But we have good players and the ability to do well in Europe.
“We play a good brand of football and have a very good side, with a strong bench, which is what you need in Europe and hopefully we can dig out a good result away to bring back to Oriel.”
Horgan picked up a shin knock in his side’s 2-2 draw with Derry City but should recover to take on Jeunesse Esch. He said this is not a game Dundalk will be treating lightly.
“The next round is something we won’t even consider,” he warned strongly. “They have four or five internationals and it doesn’t matter if it is Luxembourg or not, they are still playing at a higher standard, and used to playing against very good players so we will have to be at it.
“If not, they could beat us easily. That is what you are up against in Europe, you cannot let things slip at all.”