Euro 2012 squad


The squad for the European Championships

Shay Given

Ireland’s most-capped player, having debuted against Russia in 1996. A veteran of the 2002 World Cup, he comes under the heading of “indispensible”. A “weakness” for some is his height, but ask any Newcastle United or Manchester City fan how highly they rate Given and the answer won’t come in feet and inches.

Shane Long

Part of the same deal in which Kevin Doyle moved to Reading from Cork City, Long had to bide his time before a multi-million-pound move to West Brom last summer. He’s a strong contender for the contentious number nine jersey now and offers a lively alternative off the bench. Has scored six since his 2007 debut.

Keith Fahey

The former St Patrick’s Athletic player and one-time Arsenal trainee finally made his Premier League debut with Birmingham City in 2009, aged 26. Is naturally a central player, but is often deployed on the left by Trapattoni. Not a starter, per se, but can make a difference as he did when grabbing the winner in Armenia.

Stephen Kelly

Has been knocking around the international scene since 2006, but last year was a good one with eight caps, in games that included away trips to Macedonia, Russia and Estonia. He even captained in a friendly against Uruguay. He can play anywhere across the back, though he’s likely to start on the bench.

David Forde

There has been quite a tussle to be the squad’s third goalkeeper over the last few seasons but Forde headed into the home stretch with a clear advantage over the rest, thanks to his consistency at Millwall. There, long, unbroken runs in the first team earned him the chance to make an impression on the Irish management.

Damien Duff

Closing in on 100 caps and comfortable on either wing, Duff will play in his second major championship 10 years on from impressing at the 2002 World Cup. Though he may not have that jinking, speedy unpredictability he traded off at Blackburn and Chelsea, he can still hurt the opposition, as six goals for Fulham this season prove.

Darren O'Dea

Has endured plenty of frustration since debuting for Celtic five years ago. The latest blow came last month when Leeds United manager Neil Warnock announced he could leave the club. However, his international career took off in 2011 as the 25-year-old played in key qualifiers against both Macedonia and Russia.

Kevin Foley

A regular in Trapattoni’s squads due to his ability to cover in both defence and midfield, Foley made just one start in the qualifying campaign, playing right back in a makeshift back four in the home game against Macedonia in May 2011. Made 11 starts for Wolverhampton Wanderers this season and five appearances off the bench.

Sean St Ledger

His club career has been a stuttering affair, but St Ledger always ups his game for the Republic of Ireland. It is only three years since he was thrown in away to Bulgaria and not much less since he scored one of his two goals for his country in the 2-2 home draw with then world champions Italy. A starter if fit, alongside Dunne.

Darren Gibson

Spent seven seasons at Manchester United but failed to make a breakthrough before moving to Everton in January. Remains behind Whelan and Andrews in the midfield pecking order, but his move will have pleased the manager who’s likely to trust him more given his game-time in the trenches with the Merseysiders.

Robbie Keane

Tied for 16th in the list of top international goalscorers of all time, Keane has averaged almost a goal every two games since making his international debut at the age of 17. He became the Republic of Ireland’s highest ever goalscorer almost eight years ago and scored seven on the way to qualifying for Poland. Irreplaceable.

James McClean

The “bolter”, so to speak, though everyone in the country and their mother wanted him involved. The 23-year-old is every inch a Trapattoni player. He spreads his workrate evenly between attack and defence, tearing up and down the left wing. His delivery has also looked a cut above what Ireland have, while he has an eye for goal too.

Kieran Westwood

The Sunderland goalkeeper has proved a reliable replacement for Shay Given, but will be second best as long as the Donegalman is around. Made his competitive debut against Macedonia last year. Poland in 2012 will be a long way from almost quitting the game after being released by Manchester City in 2004.

Glenn Whelan

Not even Robbie Keane or Shay Given started more games than Glenn Whelan during the qualifiers. Rarely spectacular, but generally reliable, Whelan is the epitome of a Trapattoni midfielder. He works from first whistle to last, keeps it simple and takes care of the “little details” the manager is so fond of emphasising.

Keith Andrews

Glenn Whelan’s trusty accomplice in the middle of the park when fit. Like Darron Gibson, he has benefited hugely from a club move in January, and a sustained spell of Premier League football with West Brom appears to have him approaching the Euros with confidence. A goal threat if allowed to get forward.

Aiden McGeady

A slow starter internationally, McGeady wore the green jersey for the first time in 2004 but had to wait seven years for his first goal, against Macedonia. Has worked very hard on his defensive game and his end product. Is a sure starter at this stage, having begun 11 of 12 qualifiers and scored twice.

John O'Shea

Won five Premier League titles and a Champions League in his 12 years at Manchester United, playing practically every position, including goalkeeper. Signed for Sunderland in July 2011 where he has settled at centre half. He conceded a penalty to Croatia in his 2001 debut, but now brings composure to the back.

Kevin Doyle

Doyle’s grip on the number-nine shirt has loosened somewhat over the course of a difficult season at club level. He scored just four goals as Wolves were relegated from the English Premier League but will look forward to a change of luck this summer, with Trapattoni still a big fan of the striker’s workrate in leading the line.

Richard Dunne

The defensive talisman, Dunne’s return to fitness after a broken collarbone will be key to the Republic of Ireland this summer. Lose this Tallaght-born man and Ireland lose the personification of Trapattoni’s philosophy – a man who will plant himself headfirst into an icy Moscow running track to get the job done.

Jonathan Walters

Much travelled striker who is making a bit of an impact at club and international level at a late stage in his career. Debuted against Norway in November 2010 when he did well after replacing Kevin Doyle. He cemented his reputation as a player who offers something different with a strong performance and goal in the Tallinn play-off.

Stephen Hunt

A constant in Irish squads since 2007, the former Crystal Place, Brentford, Reading and Hull City winger has proved a valuable player for Trapattoni. Hunt is the sort of man team-mates want beside them in the ring. He won’t lie down, no matter what sort of beating he’s taking, and he’s well able to deliver a knockout blow.

Stephen Ward

The Dubliner has had quite a journey, having played as a striker or midfielder for Bohemians, then Wolves, before establishing himself as first choice left back for both club then country. Can often look better going forward than defending. Gives everything every time, which counts a lot for Trapattoni.

Simon Cox

Another striker who spent his formative years at Reading, he’s now frustrated behind Long at West Brom, but has taken his chances at international level. Played a part in six qualifiers and has scored two fine goals in friendlies against Italy and the Czech Republic. Also offers a right-footed option on the flanks.

Euro 2012:

The Republic

of Ireland’s

Group C games

Sunday, June 10th

v Croatia (Poznan, 7.45pm)

Thursday, June 14th

v Spain (Gdansk, 7.45pm)

Monday, June 18th

v Italy (Poznan, 7.45pm)