Duffy gets his chance to impress Trapattoni


TEAM NEWS:SHANE DUFFY, Keith Fahey and Paul Green are amongst the newcomers due to get an opportunity to impress Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni in this evening’s training game against Paul Doolin’s under-23 League of Ireland side in Malahide.

Duffy is not yet officially entitled to play for the Republic, with the IFA taking their objections in relation to the eligibility rules to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the young Everton defender has made his preference clear and his participation this evening will be seen as confirmation of where he sees his international future.

Both Green and Fahey have been around a good deal longer than Duffy but Trapattoni was upbeat yesterday about their chances of making a positive impression ahead of next week’s full international friendlies against Paraguay and Algeria.

He appeared to be particularly taken with Fahey’s versatility, with the Italian speaking admiringly of the Dubliner’s ability to play on either wing or, as he will tonight, in central midfield.

Asked if the Birmingham City player might have the potential to add a little creativity to the senior squad, he observed; “I think he can. I like his mentality. Physically he is not big but his mentality is very important. He is not afraid, he has a good personality and speaks to the other players on the pitch. I like him.”

Trapattoni, indeed, spoke warmly yesterday of many of the players who could feature this evening, none more so than Paul McShane who will, for what it’s worth in the circumstances, captain the side.

The Hull City defender, who says he expects to still be at the club next season, said he was happy to answer the call and pleased to play some part in helping younger or peripheral players stake their claim for a place in the squad.

“I was named in the squad by the manager and I’ll turn up for any squad, I want to play for Ireland, whether it’s a training camp or a World Cup qualifier, I’m happy to do anything.

“And yeah, it’s my job to a certain extent to try to put the message across to the new players about what the boss and Marco want. It’s a great opportunity for everybody and I think they (the new players) realise that.

“The manager is looking out for players for the next campaign and the lads are out to catch his eye. You can see that in training which has been great over the last couple of days.”

After tonight’s game, Trapattoni’s players are expected to face either Charlton or the Irish Junior team in another training game on Friday. Ahead of this evening’s match, Doolin has called up Vinny Faherty of St Patrick’s Athletic for injured clubmate Paul Byrne, as well as Shaun Kelly of Dundalk for Galway’s Séamus Kenneally.

The manager, meanwhile, said the Russians had chosen well with their appointment of Dick Advocaat to succeed Guus Hiddink as national team manager.

The 62-year-old managed Zenit St Petersburg to Uefa Cup success in 2008 having previously worked with Rangers and a string of international sides, including the Dutch and South Korean. Most recently, he had been in charge of the Belgians but resigned a few weeks ago, just six months into the job.

Ireland team

Westwood (Coventry); McShane (Hull), Duffy (Everton), O’Dea (Celtic), Cunningham (Manchester City) or Nolan (Sheffield Wed); Lawrence (Stoke), Green (Derby Co), Fahey (Birmingham), Long (Reading); Best (Newcastle Utd), Sheridan (Celtic).