Ronnie McFall last night urged Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington to hand Kevin Braniff an international call.
Worthington will head to the USA for a friendly with Turkey and then onto Chile next month, with hardly any of his senior players in the squad.
He will turn to under-21 players and top end Carling Premiership stars and McFall believes picking ex-Millwall man Braniff should be a straightforward decision.
Braniff, with 19 goals to his name this season, will line-up against Glentoran tomorrow, hoping to show them what they missed after the Oval club made a move for him in January.
“Kevin Braniff is the best player in the league, I have no doubt about that and if Nigel Worthington is looking at putting Irish League players in his squad for the trip to America and Chile then he should be there,” said McFall.
“He is a quality player. I’m not surprised other clubs were chasing him, but we worked hard to keep him and he wanted to stay.
“There have been other players from the Irish League who have been in Northern Ireland squads over the last few years who I don’t think are as good as him.
“We feel that his best position is in the centre of midfield, that’s where we think we can get the best out of him and he can be most effective.
“He’s played there most of the season and has scored 19 goals, which is impressive for a midfield player and he doesn’t take penalties either.
“He can play up-front and we’ve used him wide on the right too, so his versatility could be useful to the Northern Ireland manager as well.
“In my opinion he should still be playing in England, but it’s a good thing for us that he isn’t.”
Braniff will get his chance to impress the international boss in the Irish Cup final against Linfield and considering that Colin Coates faced Italy last June after being watched only once by Worthington — when Crusaders beat Cliftonville to lift the cup — the Ports star has every chance of being on the plane.