The foreign players with the most appearances in the history of the National League

keiran murtagh playing for dartfordJames Boyes, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The National League is often a place where players go at the start or even the end of their careers to ply their trade. It is not just UK players who have appeared in the fifth tier, though

Here are the foreign players (non-UK) with the most appearances in the National League:

Kieran Murtagh (Antigua and Bermuda)

The midfielder played for four teams in the fifth, Cambridge United, Macclesfield Town, Woking and Boreham Wood, making an impressive 333 appearances, scoring 23 goals and producing 25 assists.

Although Murtagh was born in London, he played international football for Antigua and Bermuda, making 22 appearances and scoring five goals for the Caribbean islanders.

David Stephens (Guyana)

The defender was born in Welwyn Garden City but represented Wales at all youth levels. However, before he represented the Dragons, the centre-back had made appearances for Guyana at youth international level.

Stephens has made 303 appearances in the fifth tier for Barnet and his current club, Boreham Wood.

Remy Clerima (France)

The versatile French star has made 293 appearances in the National League for three clubs, Histon FC, Braintree Town and Maidenhead United.

He has scored 19 goals and also produced eight assists in his career in the English fifth tier. The Paris-born star is still plying his trade at Maidenhead.

Neill Byrne (Republic of Ireland)

The centre-back was something of a journeyman in the National League, having made 269 appearances for seven different clubs in the fifth tier. Byrne featured for Barrow, Southport, Telford United, Macclesfield Town, Gateshead, Fylde and Halifax Town.

Byrne made three appearances for the Republic of Ireland under-19s at international level.

Byrne has also represented Hartlepool United, Tranmere Rovers and Stockport County in League Two.

Alan Power (Republic of Ireland)

The experienced midfielder made 263 appearances in the fifth tier for Rushden and Diamonds and also Lincoln City, scoring a respectable 32 goals and producing 20 assists.

Power played at every level for the Republic of Ireland, except for the senior international team.

The midfielder made his last National League appearances in 2017 before joining SPL outfit Kilmarnock. He has since played for St. Mirren and Morton.

Ricky Shakes (Guyana)

The midfielder made 251 appearances in the fifth tier for three clubs, Ebbsfleet United, Kidderminster Harriers and Boreham Wood, with the latter being his last club before he ended his playing career in 2021.

Shakes was born in Brixton, London. However, he made 14 appearances for Guyana at international level, scoring twice.

He had also appeared in a friendly game for Trinidad and Tobago. Shakes was eligible for Guyana courtesy of his father’s birth and Trinidad due to his mother’s heritage.

Angelo Balanta (Colombia)

The Colombian attacking midfielder made 243 appearances in the National League for three clubs, Bristol Rovers, Boreham Wood, and Dagenham and Redbridge.

His most successful spell came during his five years at Dagenham and Redbridge, where he scored 35 goals in 118 appearances in the fifth tier.

Balanta never played for the full Colombia national team but did represent his nation’s under-20 team.

James McKeown (Republic of Ireland)

The Irish goalkeeper made 242 appearances in the English fifth tier for Grimsby Town. He spent 11 years with the Mariners, making a total of 432 appearances in the National League and League Two.

Although born in Birmingham, he represented the Republic of Ireland at under-19 level on two occasions.

Joe Quigley (Republic of Ireland)

The forward is a well-travelled player in the National League, having featured for ten clubs in the fifth tier of the English game, making a total of 240 appearances and scoring 50 goals.

The most prolific period of Quigley’s career in the fifth tier came in 58 appearances when he scored 19 goals in two seasons with Yeovil Town.

Quigley’s only international appearances came for the Republic of Ireland under-21 team.

Lois Maynard (St. Kitts and Nevis)

The defensive midfielder made 240 appearances for six National League clubs, Halifax Town, Tranmere Rovers, Salford City, Stockport County, Solihull Moors and Oldham Athletic.

Maynard was born in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. However, he chose to represent St. Kitts and Nevis at international level, making 12 appearances for the Islanders.

The midfielder is not the only footballer in his family, as his cousin is Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford.