Long returns to Trapattoni's squad
Soccer: Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has added Shane Long to his squad ahead next week’s friendly international against Greece after the West Brom striker played in last night's Premier League win over Southampton.
The forward had been doubtful for the game amid concerns over a hamstring problem, and was left out of the initial squad named by Trapattoni last week, but he played a key role in the 2-0 Baggies win, setting up Peter Odemwingie’s second goal before coming off after 71 minutes at the Hawthorns.
"Giovanni Trapattoni today confirmed his 23-man squad to face Greece," an FAI statement read this afternoon. "Based on his current fitness after his appearance for West Brom against Southampton last night, Shane Long has been called up to the squad."
The Italian has relegated Milwall's Andy Keogh, Chelsea's Conor Clifford, Everton's Shane Duffy and Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney to a standby list, after all four were named in the initial 26-man selection last week.
Skipper Robbie Keane has not been asked to make the long trip from Los Angeles for the friendly, which could see Norwich’s Wes Hoolahan win just his second cap more than four years after his first.
The manager will have been pleased to learn last night of defender Richard Dunne's return to training with Aston Villa. He will not be available for next week’s friendly, however, after five months out of action with a groin problem that he picked up during Euro 2012.
The Dubliner has undergone two operations to try and resolve the injury and has finally received the green light to step up his fitness work, but Villa boss Paul Lambert is unsure when Dunne will be ready for a first-team recall.
“Richard is back in training and it’s his first time since the European Championships really,” said Lambert. “Will he be back soon? I’m not sure really because he’s got to get up to speed with training and get some games under his belt. He’s still a wee bit away.”
Dunne has endured a nightmare time with injuries during 2012 and missed the final three months of last season with a broken shoulder.
“The last operation I had seems to have really worked," he said last night. "I’ve been lucky not to have too many injuries during my career but it’s been several months where I’ve not been fit.”
The Ireland squad will join up in Dublin for training on Sunday morning, ahead of the game on Wednesday, November 14th.
Republic of Ireland squad
Goalkeepers: Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David Forde (Millwall), Darren Randolph (Motherwell)
Defenders: Séamus Coleman (Everton), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Darren O’Dea (Toronto FC), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Paul McShane (Hull City), Stephen Ward (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)
Midfielders: Keith Andrews (Bolton Wanderers), James McCarthy (Wigan Athletic), Keith Fahey (Birmingham City), David Meyler (Sunderland), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), James McClean (Sunderland), Robbie Brady (Manchester United), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)
Forwards: Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest), Jon Walters (Stoke City), Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion)
Standby list:Andy Keogh (Millwall), Conor Clifford (Chelsea), Shane Duffy (Everton), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace)