| 13°C Dublin

Trap: Spain test ideal for young stars 'to grow'

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI will dig deep into his squad to find a team to play Spain in Yankee Stadium tomorrow and it looks like Jeff Kendrick is the big winner after nine withdrawals from the panel.

Between weddings and injuries, Trapattoni has lost John O'Shea, Richard Dunne, Shane Long, Aiden McGeady, Wes Hoolahan, Keiren Westwood, Glenn Whelan, Marc Wilson and Jon Walters.

Kendrick is almost certain to start in midfield alongside James McCarthy and Trapattoni will fill in the gaps with youth.

"I promised the FAI that all the players would come for this particular game. Only the injuries and weddings," he laughed. "The others are all here. It's important one or two young, said already to them, opportunity to grow again and get a great experience against one of the most famous teams in the world.

"To play in this game, they can grow and take more confidence and trust. When you play against these great teams, like for example England. With Spain, it's friendly but not friendly because they have to prepare for the Confederations Cup. They will play hard for 90 minutes. For us, it's an opportunity to give one or two of these young players to allow them to grow."

Trapattoni is also hoping that exposure to some of the best players in the world will also help in creating some demand for Ireland's Championship contingent.

"I think very much about our players that play in Championship and not in the Premier League. I don't a controversy with agents and the other managers.

"For example (Conor) Sammon, Hendrick they play Championship. Ask to me why because when I see the game in the Premier League, I think they can be there and not because they play with us. Quality is quality.

"(Keith) Andrews for example, was left on bench at Blackburn. Andrews is Andrews. He shows quality when he plays with us. I don't want to get the managers or clubs angry but ... " he said, his voice trailing off and indicating clearly that his players should get more recognition in England.

Trapattoni was happy to bring his players to see the Irish community in Breezy Point and see how much devastation they had to endure during Hurricane Sandy.

"Sometimes it's important for the young to see this situation and think about what can happen in one day in your life. It's important because we are famous, we live a different life. We have no time to think about this moment. I think it's important when we can reflect what happens to other people. We are very happy to here for this initiative," he said.



Trapattoni confirmed that Robbie Keane will start. "Robbie was one of the first who said he was coming. He had to speak to Bruce Arena and I spoke to him too. I promised him he would play maybe one half."

Trapattoni will look to James McCarthy for more improvement against Spain and believes that he can develop further against such strong opposition.

"He can continue. James in this game has a great opportunity to play against the famous and most important players. Because I became famous when I was like James. I was midfield. Against Pelé, (Johan) Cruyff, Eusebio.

"They were the best players in the world. I grew because I took confidence because I could play against them. I said to McCarthy yesterday he must believe. He has vision, he has good shooting or so. He should be more enterprising."