Four new faces in Trapattoni's squad


Soccer:Four newcomers, three of them from Derby County, have been named in Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly against Poland in Dublin on February 6th. In total, there are five uncapped players but West Ham United goalkeeper Stephen Henderson is no stranger to the squad and has, in this instance, been preferred to Motherwell's Darron Randolph.

The Italian, who was forced to cancel his scheduled press conference this afternoon following the death of his sister Romilde this morning, has also opted to rest captain Robbie Keane and Reading defender Stephen Kelly, while defenders Sean St Ledger (hamstring) and Marc Wilson (broken leg) are unavailable through injury.

Ominously for Kelly, who reportedly fell out with Trapattoni's assistant manager Marco Tardelli after the 6-1 defeat to Germany in October and has played only three club games this season, a "break" seems to be the last thing he needs.

The 27-man squad includes Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne, but only as a “standby” option, while his fitness is monitored “over the coming fortnight before a decision will be made on his inclusion in the squad”.

It was no surprise, then, to see defender Richard Keogh (26) included after the manager attended Derby's 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but Trapattoni has also opted to call on Rams midfielder Jeff Hendrick (20) and striker Conor Sammon (26), who has three under-21 caps to his name but has hitherto been unable to break into the international squad despite a spell at Premier League Wigan Athletic.

The inclusion of Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington has been on the cards for some time, and he will link up with clubmate Wes Hoolahan when the squad assembles in two weeks' time.