Stephen Kenny’s options depleted for Spanish training camp
Callum O’Dowda, Ciaran Clark, Jeff Hendrick and Enda Stevens are among those out
Stephen Kenny’s Ireland team will face friendlies against Andorra and Hungary. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Efforts to snap Stephen Kenny’s winless streak as Republic of Ireland manager will not be helped this summer by Callum O’Dowda or Kevin Long.
The Bristol City winger and Burnley centre half are definitely out of next month’s friendlies against Andorra and Hungary. Long’s club mate Robbie Brady is also unlikely to feature after damaging his achilles tendon against Qatar last March.
Kenny’s options are expected to be weakened further by Ciaran Clark, Jeff Hendrick, Enda Stevens and Alan Browne withdrawing from the 10-day training camp in Girona, Spain as the quartet need rest or minor procedures due to missing an off-season in 2020.
James McClean is available having played 90 minutes for Stoke City reserves on Monday.
The Andorra game on June 3rd has been switched to Estadi Johan Cruyff in Barcelona, to avoid mandatory hotel quarantine on return to Ireland, but this suits the squad as they are a 90 minute drive from the 6,000 capacity venue mainly used by FC Barcelona’s B team.
Andorra is one of six European countries on the Irish Government’s mandatory hotel quarantine list along with Belgium, France, Georgia, Turkey and Luxembourg.
Kenny’s summer camp ends against Hungary at the Szusza Ferenc stadium in Budapest on June 8th. The full squad will be announced Monday before meeting up in Spain the following Friday, May 28th.
The Dubliner is still seeking his first competitive victory as Ireland manager after four draws and seven defeats since taking over from Mick McCarthy in April 2020.
Vera Pauw’s Republic of Ireland team will also play two friendlies during a 10-day trip to Iceland between June 6th and 16th, both matches are in Reykjavik and will be shown live on the RTÉ Player.
“We have made a lot of positive strides in recent months in each of our sessions together and this week, with two tough games, will provide us with another opportunity to continue that work,” said Pauw despite Ireland losing their last five matches. “For this window, we had many different options but ultimately we chose to play against Iceland [TWICE], who are ranked 17th in the World and have qualified for Euro 2022.
“Just like our decision to play Denmark and Belgium in April [both 1-0 defeats], we want to test ourselves against high calibre opposition.”
Ireland open their 2023 World Cup qualifying campaign away to Georgia on September 17th.
Republic of Ireland (men) - June fixtures
June 3rd - Andorra v Ireland, Estadi Johan Cruyff, 5pm
June 8th - Hungary v Ireland, Szusza Ferenc Stadion, 7pm
Republic of Ireland (women) - June fixtures (Live on RTÉ Player)
June 11th - Iceland v Republic of Ireland, Laugardalsvollur, Reykjavik
June 15th - Iceland v Republic of Ireland, Laugardalsvollur, Reykjavik