THE wheel has turned full circle for Everton defender Shane Duffy, who was yesterday named in the Republic of Ireland squad for this month’s international friendly against Czech Republic at the Aviva stadium.
Giovanni Trappatoni called the uncapped 20-year-old to replace Richard Dunne in the 24-man squad after the Aston Villa defender learned he will sidelined for at least a month with a fractured clavicle suffered during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday. Duffy will join up with the squad for training on February 26, three days before the Dublin friendly.
In May 2010 Duffy suffered a laceration to his liver after accidentally colliding with an Irish amateur team select goalkeeper Aidan Walsh, whilst playing for an Irish selection at Gannon Park in Malahide. After being attended to on the pitch by team surgeon, Professor John O’Byrne, and team doctor Alan Byrne, Duffy was rushed to nearby Mater Hospital in Dublin where surgeon Gerry McEntee performed an emergency operation.
The Derry native, whose father Brian is from Letterkenny, has shown great promise at the heart of the Everton defence in recent weeks having made his Premier League debut last month against Tottenham Hotspur. Duffy was a stoppage time substitute in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park.
“I had to wait to talk to Shane first,” a delighted Brian Duffy said yesterday. “I am delighted for him. I am in a state of shock. I still can’t believe our Shane has been called into Ireland’s senior squad.
“This will be the first time Shane will be back in Malahide since his injury. That’s were it happened, so it will be another hurdle he will have overcome. We’re over the moon.”
Killybegs native Seamus Coleman has been out of action since suffering a recurrence of a thigh strain against Tamworth in the FA Cup third round last month but will be delighted to get the opportunity to stake his claim for the 23-man squad that will travel to Poland for Euro 2012, while Shay Given from Lifford is expected to win a record 121st cap against the Czechs.