Kelly and Westwood return to clubs


Soccer:Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Kelly and goalkeeper Kieren Westwood have both been ruled out of Wednesday’s friendly against the Czech Republic due to injury.

Fulham full back Kelly is suffering from a thigh injury, while Sunderland stopper Westwood is ruled out with a wrist problem. Portsmouth goalkeeper Stephen Henderson has been drafted in as cover.

With the exception of Kelly and Westwood, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni should have a clean bill of health as he steps up his preparations for this summer’s Euro 2012 finals. Kevin Doyle and Keith Fahey both sat out training in Malahide this morning but assistant manager Marco Tardelli said afterwards that he is hopeful the duo will be fit for the match at the Aviva Stadium.

Trapattoni indicated yesterday that both James McClean and Shane Duffy will make their senior international debuts this week. The Italian suggested yesterday that he is inclined to give as many of his players as possible a run out and expressed confidence that the pair are ready to make an impression.

“In this game we can make six changes so it will be a good opportunity to see players,” said the Ireland boss after yesterday’s training session at Malahide. “We have (Simon) Cox and (Jon) Walters and (Shane) Long in the strikers but Duffy and McClean can also play.”