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Saturday 30 August 2014

McCarthy left out of Ireland squad

Published 20/05/2014 | 15:57

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James McCarthy has not been included in the final 29-man squad

Boss Martin O'Neill has named his final 29-man squad for the Republic of Ireland's end-of-season friendlies, with James McCarthy among those from the provisional party to be left out.

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Everton midfielder McCarthy, West Ham defender Joey O'Brien - who had already been released from the squad so he could concentrate on his own fitness programme - and Birmingham goalkeeper Darren Randolph are the trio missing from the original 32-man group O'Neill named earlier this month.

There is also no place for Stephen Ireland, despite O'Neill having hinted the Stoke midfielder could be drafted in.

The squad is for four friendlies, against Turkey at the Aviva Stadium on May 25, Italy at Fulham's Craven Cottage on May 31, Costa Rica in Philadelphia on June 6 and Portugal in New Jersey on June 10.

O'Neill - who, since being appointed to the job last year, has overseen a win against Latvia, draw with Poland and loss to Serbia, all in friendlies - said: "I am looking forward to working with the players over the coming weeks which will be important as we work towards our opening (Euro 2016) qualification matches in September.

"The matches will be about getting to know the players better and changing them around a little bit in terms of personnel in different matches."

Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot - one of two uncapped players in the squad along with Everton defender Shane Duffy - is missing his own stag-do as a result of being part of the group.

Elliot will miss out on a trip to Las Vegas with 16 of his friends although he has got some time off, meaning he will not be involved for the Italy fixture, so that he can be present for the wedding itself.

"All the lads are heading off without me (to Las Vegas)," Elliot told nufc.co.uk.

"We planned the stag do more than a year ago, before I had any involvement with Ireland.

"At least there's a good reason why I'm not going on my own stag do, and I will be able to look back at it and laugh.

"I've had quite a bit of stick from my mates but you can't put a price on international football.

"You have to make sacrifices and I would never jeopardise my chance of playing for my country."

He added: "My wedding is right in the middle of it.

"So I've spoken to the manager and goalkeeping coach, who have both been really good about the situation.

"I've been given a few days off for the wedding, which means I miss one match against Italy, and am then able to meet back up with the squad after.

"My fiancee is okay with it all and says it's a good opportunity for me.

"We've delayed the honeymoon and she will meet me out in America after the final games to start from there.

"It's not what we'd planned but we will still enjoy it."

Squad: David Forde (Millwall), Rob Elliot (Newcastle); Richard Keogh (Derby), Marc Wilson (Stoke), Seamus Coleman (Everton), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce, Stephen Kelly (both Reading), Damien Delaney (Ipswich), Shane Duffy (Everton), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Stephen Ward (Brighton); Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Paul Green (Leeds), Aiden McGeady (Everton), Anthony Pilkington (Norwich), James McClean (Wigan), Stephen Quinn, David Meyler (both Hull), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich); Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Hull), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Jon Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (QPR), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest), Conor Sammon (Derby).

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