Sunday 18 March 2018

McGeady makes Ireland return

McGeady in squad for Armenia and Andorra matches next month
McGeady in squad for Armenia and Andorra matches next month

Aiden McGeady returns to the Republic of Ireland squad for their opening Euro 2012 qualifiers against Armenia and Andorra next month.

The winger was given permission to miss the 1-0 friendly defeat by Argentina last week while he finalised his move from Celtic to Spartak Moscow.

Republic assistant manager Marco Tardelli today named a 25-man squad for the two games, with boss Giovanni Trapattoni still recovering from the abdominal surgery that caused him to miss the opening of Dublin's new Aviva Stadium.

The 71-year-old Italian was discharged from Dublin's Mater Hospital on Tuesday morning.

The match in Armenia on September 3 will mark Ireland's first competitive outing since their controversial World Cup play-off defeat by France.

They will look to take maximum points from that clash as well as the home match against Andorra four days later in preparation for much tougher tasks in the shape of Russia and Slovakia in October.

The squad has a largely familiar look to it, with Glenn Whelan, Sean St Ledger, Shane Long and Kevin Doyle also returning after missing the Argentina clash.

Shay Given is expected to win his 105th and 106th caps in goal despite losing his place in the Manchester City team to Joe Hart.

Given's City team-mate Greg Cunningham, Darren O'Dea, Paul Green and Keith Treacy will all hope to make their first competitive appearances for the Republic.

Tardelli said: "We go into this double-header of qualifiers well prepared and confident having held a successful training camp in May and played a number of competitive and challenging friendly matches over the summer.

"Playing Armenia in Yerevan will be a tough test for the team but when we return to play our first competitive home game four days later, we hope to go to Aviva Stadium having made a positive start to the campaign."

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland Under-21s will have an unchanged squad for their final two matches of the 2011 European Championships qualifying campaign in Switzerland and Turkey.

New boss Noel King is taking charge of the women's under-17s at the World Cup finals so Football Association of Ireland international high performance director Wim Koevermans will lead the squad for their matches on September 3 and 7.

The Under-21s cannot qualify for the finals but will look to build on the 5-0 victory over Estonia they recorded earlier this month.

Republic of Ireland squad to face Armenia on September 3 and Andorra on September 7 in the opening Group B European Championship qualifiers:

Given (Manchester City), Westwood (Coventry), Murphy (Scunthorpe); O'Shea (Manchester United), Dunne (Aston Villa), St Ledger (Preston), Cunningham (Manchester City), Foley (Wolves), Kelly (Fulham), McShane (Hull), O'Dea (Ipswich); Kilbane (Hull), Andrews (Blackburn), Whelan (Stoke), Gibson (Manchester United), Green (Derby), Lawrence (Stoke), McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Keogh (Wolves), Duff (Fulham), Fahey (Birmingham), Treacy (Preston); Keane (Tottenham), Doyle (Wolves), Long (Reading).

Press Association

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