Euro 2012 - Trapattoni shuns McClean
Sunderland winger James McClean was a surprise omission when Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni named his squad for the friendly clash with Czech Republic later this month.
The Derry-born 22-year-old was expected to win a first senior call-up after being watched by Trapattoni and assistant Marco Tardelli in recent weeks but he did not make the 24-man party for the game at the Aviva Stadium on February 29.
But there were no further surprises as the Italian, who has vowed to remain loyal to the men who secured qualification for the Euro 2012 finals, stuck to his guns.
“This game is the beginning of our Euro 2012 preparations," Trapattoni said. "As we face this fixture, it is important for our players to remember the attitude and performance that brought us qualification.
"The Czech Republic are a strong team, and their system is similar to Croatia and Spain. This game is vital in helping us choose our 23 player squad for May.
"We will continue to monitor our players afterwards, and keep a close eye on their fitness in the coming months.”
Full Ireland squad to face Czech Republic:
Given (Aston Villa), Westwood (Sunderland), Forde (Millwall), O'Shea (Sunderland), Kelly (Fulham), Ward (Wolves), Dunne (Aston Villa), St Ledger (Leicester), O'Dea (Leeds), Foley (Wolves), Whelan (Stoke), McCarthy (Wigan), Coleman (Everton), Andrews (West Brom), Fahey (Birmingham), Gibson (Everton), Duff (Fulham), McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Hunt (Wolves), Keane (Aston Villa), Doyle (Wolves), Long (West Brom), Cox (West Brom), Walters (Stoke).