Out with the old and in with the new – that’s Giovanni Trapattoni’s motto for the friendly with Poland next month.
The Ireland manager has ignored Shay Given’s offer to return for the Dublin match and rested Robbie Keane and Stephen Kelly.
Instead he has called up Derby County trio Conor Sammon, Jeff Hendrick and Richard Keogh along with Norwich City’s Anthony Pilkington.
He has also recalled Bristol City defender Greg Cunningham and placed Richard Dunne on standby as he recovers from a long term injury.
Pilkington was capped at under 21 level four years ago and, while still eligible to play for England, he has committed to the Irish cause.
The Norwich City midfielder is an exciting prospect with Trapattoni eager to see him on the international stage.
Trap said: “He is a great player with a lot of potential, and somebody that we’re most interested in. We’ve been following him for a long time.
“We’re obviously without Damien Duff, but he’s the sort of player that has the ability to play on both the right and the left.
“He’s good, and well known for his goalscoring ability, and I think that will certainly add something, but it’s not just that - technically he’s extremely good, and tactically aware on the pitch also. This makes me really look forward to having him in the squad.
“He has made it clear that he wants to play for Ireland, and that’s very positive for the country and for him. We are really looking forward to working with him.”
West Ham keeper Stephen Henderson and Derby trio Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon are the other uncapped players in the squad with at least two of them set to start against Poland.
In a statement released by the FAI, Trapattoni added: “I wish to see their personalities. From what I have seen from them at their clubs, they have good personalities, it is very important for them to show us the same attitude and personality.”
Shay Given’s willingness to return - after retiring last summer in the wake of the Euro finals disappointment – has been overlooked by the Ireland boss.
Trapattoni said: “It’s similar to what I explained to Robbie Keane. There’s an evolution within this squad, and it’s important for me to keep bringing players through.
“I explained to Shay that for this friendly match we are looking to use the players that I have to give them more match time.
“I have a lot of respect for Shay as a player. When he spoke to us during our phone call he said to us that if we needed him, he’d be there.
“That shows great pride in the jersey, professionalism and seriousness that characterises Shay as a player. We’ll continue to follow him.”
Ireland squad to play Poland: Keiren Westwood, David Forde, Stephen Henderson, Ciaran Clark, Darren O’Dea, Paul McShane, Seamus Coleman, Richard Keogh, Richard Dunne, Greg Cunningham, Stephen Ward, Anthony Pilkington, James McClean, Robbie Brady, Aiden McGeady, Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy, Jeff Hendrick, David Meyler, Wes Hoolahan, Simon Cox, Shane Long, Jon Walters, Andy Keogh, Kevin Doyle
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