Thursday 19 September 2019

Jack Byrne in Ireland squad for crunch qualifier against Switzerland while Shane Long and Robbie Brady miss out

Jack Byrne is in the Ireland squad
Jack Byrne is in the Ireland squad

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Shane Long, Robbie Brady and Harry Arter will miss out on Ireland duty next month, but there is a call-up for Shamrock Rovers man Jack Byrne who is "in the form of his life" according to boss McCarthy.

And while teenagers Michael Obafemi, Troy Parrott and Nathan Collins are not in the senior squad due to U21 duty, they are on stand-by for the senior matches if McCarthy opts to call on them.

McCarthy today trimmed down his 40-man provisional squad to a 25-strong travelling party, the Irish squad due to train in Dublin on Monday and there was good news for James McCarthy and Alan Judge who are recalled after injury, while Shamrock Rovers man Jack Byrne is also called up.

Arter is out as he needs surgery on an ankle problem but Long has been omitted by McCarthy while Brady, who also lacks minutes at club level as he battles back from a rib injury, is also left out.

Long, who turns 33 in January, has played just once for Southampton this season, teenager Michael Obafemi selected ahead of him for the midweek League Cup game, and Long's omission from the four-man strike force would pose questions about his long-term future.

"Robbie has been close to a comeback with Burnley in the past few days but these games have just come too soon for him. We want him back for the games away to Georgia and Switzerland in October," McCarthy told fai.ie today.

"I have spoken to Stephen [Kenny] and it is best for the players and our hopes of Under-21 qualification for them to be involved for the Armenia and Swedish games at this stage," McCarthy said of the teen trio.

"The big thing in picking this squad has been game-time for the players.

"I named a 40-man provisional squad a fortnight ago because so many of the players had yet to play for their clubs but thankfully that situation has improved dramatically since then.

"I watched James McCarthy play the full 90 minutes for Palace in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday while Alan Kelly was at Burnley on Wednesday night to see Jeff Hendrick and Kevin Long start against Sunderland.

"Alan Browne is back in the team at Preston and Mark Travers started for Bournemouth on Wednesday and saved three penalties. Conor Hourihane scored two goals for Aston Villa at Crewe on Tuesday and Glenn Whelan is playing again now that he has signed for Hearts. It is great to have them back on the pitch ahead of such a big game against the Swiss and then for the friendly against Bulgaria.

"I'm also looking forward to seeing Jack Byrne in action for Rovers against Bohs on Friday night. He got two great goals in Waterford last week and he is the form player for Stephen Bradley right now."

Switzerland name their squad tomorrow.

Republic of Ireland Squad

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Mark Travers (Bournemouth)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Glenn Whelan (Hearts), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic), James McClean (Stoke City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth)

Forwards: Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Scott Hogan (Stoke City), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United)   

Online Editors

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