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Saints' Faherty gets Under-23 boost

ST PATRICK'S Athletic striker Vinny Faherty has been given a boost in the wake of Saturday's Setanta Cup final defeat to Bohemians with a call-up to the Ireland Under-23 squad.

The U23 panel, managed by Paul Doolin and made up exclusively of home-based players get their moment in the spotlight tonight when they take on Giovanni Trapattoni's senior team in a training game, played behind closed doors at the Ireland training camp in Malahide.

Doolin, who is using the game to prepare for a game against England next week, has already lost the services of Galway United defender Seamus Conneely and could also lose Sporting Fingal keeper Darren Quigley, but he has called up Pats striker Faherty as well as Dundalk defender Shaun Kelly.

"I am delighted to be playing this match against Giovanni Trapattoni's training camp squad. It is an opportunity for our players to play against senior internationals, but it is far more important in terms of match preparation. It gives the players a chance to play together and get to know each other ahead of the mach against England," said Doolin.

"This match isn't about the result, it's purely about the performance. It gives the players a bit of game time together and it also gives me the opportunity to get a few ideas across to them.

"We have players who can play in different positions so we'll try a few things out. We'll give everybody a run out and I think it will be a very useful exercise as we prepare for a big match against England in Waterford on Wednesday week.

"Shaun Kelly has been called into the squad for the training match. We have a few players - Stephen Mulcahy and James Chambers, for instance - who could cover at right-back but Shaun is a natural right-back so we have decided to call him in."