John O’Shea and Aiden McGeady nominated for FAI player of the year

Robbie Brady the only likely injury absentee from O’Neill’s squad for Poland match

Aiden McGeady's heroics in Tbilisi and John O'Shea's in Gelsenkirchen have helped the pair on to the shortlist for this year's 3-sponsored FAI Senior International Player of the Year award.

The winner will be announced in Dublin on Sunday week as the squad gather for the following weekend’s vitally important European Championship qualifier against Poland.

Martin O’Neill will name his squad for the game on Thursday when Robbie Brady is likely to be the only one of his regulars to miss out through injury.

The Hull City winger, who had been eyed up late last year as a possible stand-in at left back for this game, is recovering from a mishap at his club training ground, but the Northern Irish man is otherwise in a position to name a strong squad for the March 29th encounter.

He will be pleased to be in a position to include the likes of Seamus Coleman, Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy and Darron Gibson, none of whom featured for Ireland last time out when the United States were well beaten in a Dublin friendly.

Whether McCarthy actually plays a part in the game itself will be of considerable interest, though, with some tensions developing between the Ireland and Everton management teams over the midfielder’s various injuries this season.

There have been rather odd suggestions by Roberto Martinez that the in juries had originated or been exacerbated during periods of international duty despite the fact that he had barely featured for Ireland of late.

Central player

O’Neill’s level of interest in Gibson will be interesting too as the former Sunderland boss has previously suggested that the Derry man needs to be playing regularly and well for his club before he could expect to become a central player in the international side.

Jon Walters is certainly set to be among those named and having scored one goal in six appearances for Ireland last year it is the Stoke City striker who completes the shortlist for the association’s most high-profile award.

O’Shea and McGeady make the goal of the year lists as well for their late efforts in those games against Germany and Georgia respectively.

Brady, Jeff Hendrick and international newcomer Cyrus Christie will battle it out for the young player award while Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish is amongst those in contention for the under-21 award despite not having yet decided whether his senior international career lies with this country.

Grealish future

Noel King said this week that Grealish had again asked to be left out of his squad for the forthcoming under-21 international against Andorra with the player saying that he wants to concentrate on progressing his club career at this particular point in time.

Tim Sherwood has, however, recently predicted that the 19-year-old would eventually represent England at senior level.

There are no great shocks with regard to the SSE Airticity league award with Christy Fagan, Colin Healy and Pat Hoban all receiving recognition for very strong showings last season but there will be some surprise that Dundalk’s Richie Towell missed out.

In the women’s categories, UCD Waves and Peamount United are both well represented but Chelsea’s Niamh Fahey also features in the senior list while Megan Connolly of College Corinthians completes the under-19 one. The Irish women’s team beat Costa Rica 2-1 in the final game of the Istria invitation tournament in Croatia where first-half goals from Stephanie Roche and Megan Campbell enabled Sue Ronan’s side to finish their 10-day trip on a high following defeats by Slovakia and Austria and a draw with Hungary.