Shay Given has been included in Giovanni Trapattoni’s 23-man squad for Euro 2012 but Seamus Coleman has to be content to be one of five players on standby.
Lifford native Given, capped 121 times, was a guaranteed selection and the Aston Villa shotstopper joins Keiren Westwood and David Forde as the three goalkeepers. Coleman, who has had an injury blighted season with Premier League Everton, joins Darren Randolph, Paul McShane, Paul Green and Andy Keogh on the standby list.
One surprise exclusion was James McCarthy, the Glasgow-born midfielder whose late grandfather Paddy Coll was from Gweedore. Trapattoni confirmed he would have selected the player but the 21-year-old had asked to be left out as his father was recently diagnosed with cancer and is receiving ongoing treatment.
The Italian explained he tried to cajole McCarthy into joining the squad but fully understood his decision to stay at home. The manager did, though, say that just because McCarthy or Coleman weren’t part of the 23-man squad, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a future at international level.
“McCarthy, Coleman, players like that,” Trapattoni said. “I have to make a decision. And I do not forget them for the next campaign, for the World Cup. But we have to decide the best for now.”
Former Derry City winger James McClean is part of the travelling squad. The Sunderland player was a spectator at Finn Harps’ 4-3 friendly win against Drumkeen United last week as he is a close friend of Harps goalkeeper Rory Kelly.
Ireland play Croatia in Poznan on June 10 in their first game of Euro
2012 before taking on world and European champions Spain in Gdansk on June 14 before returning to Poznan to face Trapattoni’s native Italy four days later.
Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David Forde Millwall). Defenders: John O’Shea (Sunderland), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Seán St Ledger (Leicester City), Stephen Ward (Wolves), Kevin Foley (Wolves), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Darren O’Dea (Celtic). Midfielders: Keith Andrews (West Brom), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Darron Gibson (Everton), Damien Duff (Fulham), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), Keith Fahey (Birmingham), James McClean (Sunderland). Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Simon Cox (West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke), Shane Long (West Brom). Standby: Darren Randolph, Paul McShane, Paul Green, Seamus Coleman, Andy Keogh