Sports Digest: James McClean thrilled over Euro chance


Stand-by: Darren Randolph (Motherwell), Paul McShane (Crystal Palace), Paul Green (Unattached), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Andy Keogh (Millwall).
James McCarthy on Leave
JAMES McCarthy put family before football when he opted out of the European Championship finals – but the Premier League star says he is committed to the Irish team.

McCarthy has decided to stay at home with his ill father Willie, recently diagnosed with cancer, rather than travel to Poland next month.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni announced McCarthy’s decision when he unveiled his Euro 2012 squad at a Dublin press conference on Monday.

Glasgow born McCarthy also released a statement via the FAI which read, “I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw my name from selection from the Euro 2012 squad following the diagnosis of my father with cancer and an ongoing requirement for treatment.

“I have discussed this with the manager. He was very understanding and I thank him sincerely for that.

“I take this opportunity to re-affirm my complete commitment to playing for the Republic of Ireland. It is a huge honor and source of great pride for me and my family.

“Despite not being present, I would like to wish the manager and my teammates every success at the tournament and hope that Irish fans can understand the reason for my decision at this difficult time.”

Trapattoni says he fully understands McCarthy’s decision to put his family first this summer.

The Wigan midfielder asked Trap to excuse him from his Euro plans in an emotional phone call a week ago.

Trapattoni revealed, “Last week, he called me and told me what had happened with his family, and I told him, ‘I am sorry, I am very, very sorry.’

“But he has decided to remain at home because he has a very heavy duty for his parents.

“I told him immediately that we would continue to follow him and that he will be in our plans for the future.

“I spoke with him and he preferred to stay at home because he psychologically, he was not ready, he was afraid about this. I have to have respect about his choice.

“It’s difficult to try to convince him -- he is 21 years old. I tried, but he said he was sad, he was not confident about this situation. I have to have respect for this. I said, ‘Okay, you will be with us in the next campaign.’”
Airtricity Results
THE problems continued for new Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Kenny as UCD grabbed a late equalizer in the 2-2 Airtricity League draw at Tallaght on Friday night.

League leaders Sligo beat Drogheda 3-1, Cork City won 3-2 at home to Dundalk, Shelbourne were 2-1 winners over Monaghan and Bray beat Bohs 2-1.

St. Patrick’s Athletic enjoyed a 2-0 win over Derry City at the Brandywell.
Soccer Shorts
HOLDERS Derry City will travel to Sligo Rovers in the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup. Shamrock Rovers meet St. Pat’s, Drogheda United host Dundalk and Bray are at home to Limerick in the other games . . .

FORMER Bohs boss Pat Fenlon was celebrating on Monday night as Hibs beat Dunfermline 4-0 to secure their Scottish Premier Division status for next season . . .

SHEFFIELD Wednesday want to sign winger Keith Treacy on a permanent deal from Burnley after securing promotion to the championship . . .

SPANISH boss Vicente Del Bosque expects to have injured Barcelona striker David Villa fit for the European Championship finals . . .

SHAMROCK Rovers midfielder Ronan Finn has signed a new long term contract with the Airtricity League champions.