SEAMUS COLEMAN has received the perfect birthday present with the news he will start his first competitive international for Ireland, as they take on Germany tomorrow night.
The Killybegs native is 24 today and has been handed the right-back berth against the three-time world champions at the Aviva Stadium.
Coleman has been in fine form for Everton in the Premier League of late, having reverted from right-midfield to his more natural position.
The former St Catherine’s and Sligo Rovers player has five international caps to his name since making his debut in February of last year against Wales in Dublin, the most recent being the 4-1 win over Oman at Craven Cottage last month.
Coleman will line out in the back four alongside John O’Shea, Darren O’Dea and Stephen Ward, in front of goalkeeper Kieron Westwood.
Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni will start with a five-man midfield of Keith Andrews, Keith Fahey, James McCarthy, Aiden McGeady and Jonathan Walters, behind lone striker Simon Cox.
Ireland are missing a host of players for the clash, with Robbie Keane the latest to pull out with an Achilles problem. Trapattoni has had a difficult week as the casualty count has mounted with Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan, Kevin Doyle, James McClean and now Keane having all joined Dunne on the sidelines.
Ireland v Germany: Westwood; Coleman. O’Shea, O’Dea, Ward; Andrews, Fahey, McCarthy; McGeady, Walters, Cox.