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Saturday 21 October 2017

Trap recalls Kelly to squad – but Gibson refuses to end exile

Giovanni Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has recalled Stephen Kelly to the Ireland squad despite not speaking to the player about their recent bust-up, but a discussion with Darron Gibson has confirmed that the Everton star is staying away from international football.

Kelly has been included in the provisional 29-man panel for the crunch ties with Sweden and Austria, although he could still be vulnerable when it is cut to 23 next week, considering that Trapattoni has named 11 defenders in his extended list. "I have no reason to be prejudiced against any player," said the Italian with regard to his inclusion of Kelly.

The Reading full-back accused the 73-year-old of defaming his character by suggesting after last month's win over Poland that the Dubliner had previously sought demands he would play before making himself available.

Kelly was supported by the FAI, who were embarrassed by Trapattoni's outburst, and there was no contact between player and manager ahead of the squad announcement.

However, the long-serving squad member said in his statement that he would continue to remain available for his country.

Gibson is voluntarily out of the frame, however, after declining a call-up from Trapattoni. He is still sore at his non-involvement in Euro 2012, and it is highly unlikely that he will play for the current regime again. "I will continue to call him," said Trapattoni. "But he said that, at this moment, he prefers to stay at home. I cannot force him. I have to respect his decision. I went to see him play at Everton and he did very well."

Irish Independent

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