Soccer Digest: Giovanni Trapattoni calls on new faces
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Giovanni Trapattoni has rested the old guard for the friendly with Serbia on August 15, but his squad selection has done little to fire the imagination after the European Championship flop.
Captain Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Stephen Hunt and Shay Given have all been told they are not wanted for this game.
Instead Trapattoni has turned to the likes of James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman, Marc Wilson and
Andy Keogh for the first game since the Euros, with no place for the likes of Anthony Pilkington or Wes Hoolahan.
Trapattoni said, “This friendly offers us a great opportunity to try out younger players ahead of our World Cup qualifying campaign.
“As a result, I have decided to leave some of our senior players out of the squad for this fixture. Serbia are a very good team with a great football heritage, and will provide us with a great test before our game against Kazakhstan in September.
“I am looking forward to working with each of these players next month. As we prepare for a new journey for this team, it is important that we remember our last campaign as we build for a brighter future.”
Trap did indicate that the senior players will play for their country despite recent speculation surrounding Keane’s future in particular.
He said, “I said to the senior players after Poland ‘I don’t wish you for this game (Serbia) because I wish to try the other options.’ They said, ‘Yes Mister, no problem.’ They know they can stay.
“I wish to see McCarthy in this game. I wish to see McCarthy and we prefer McCarthy at this moment.
Now we wish to try young players in this friendly game to give this opportunity to show us how what they can do.”
Trapattoni also confirmed that Kevin Foley turned down the chance to return to the squad after he was axed from the Euros on the eve of the tournament.
The manager confirmed, “I called him, I spoke with him and he said that he was a little bit sad. He said to me, ‘I am not ready in this moment and also I am a little bit disappointed.’
“I understood him and there is no problem. Maybe in the future he can be ready. I understood the disappointment, but he didn’t say never.”
Reflecting on the Euros, Trap said, “Our group was very, very tough, but I would like to start the Euro again tomorrow because I am sure it was an accident, this Euro for us.
“In my life I have won a lot, but I also lost a lot. When I start again, I start with a spirit of renewed vigor.
For me, it’s a new campaign, a new life and we have new players.
“It is important to give them the same possibility to get the good results. I don’t give up easily. It is like a drug for me. It is life for me.”
The Republic of Ireland squad to play Serbia is Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O’Shea, St. Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Whelan, Gibson, McCarthy, Green, Coleman, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Treacy, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.
CELTIC manager Neil Lennon is chasing Ireland striker Simon Cox, fueling speculation that Anthony Stokes could be sold before the transfer window closes in August.
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