Newly appointed Airtricity League XI manager, Damien Richardson, has confirmed his initial 35-man selection to face Celtic and Manchester City at this year’s inaugural Dublin Super Cup.
With Richardson recently installed as the team’s manager, a large preliminary selection of players has been chosen in preparation for the tournament that takes place at the Aviva Stadium on the 30th and 31st July. The final squad will then be cut down closer to the tournament, to no less than 25 players making the final selection.
Richardson’s initial squad boasts four full internationals – Alan Mannus (Northern Ireland), Joe Gamble (Republic of Ireland), Jason Byrne (Republic of Ireland) and the league’s top scorer, Eamon Zayed (Libya). The initial panel also contains six of the players from last year’s Airtricity League team that faced Manchester United, whose experience should be invaluable when facing teams of similar calibre.
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Richardson has also used his knowledge of the league to delve into the Airtricity First Division to give Danny Murphy (Cork City) and Joe Gamble (Limerick) an opportunity to shine. Players from FAI Ford Cup winners, Sligo Rovers, have not been considered for the tournament as they will be involved in Europa League action. Richardson is keen to only select players that can play in the Dublin Super Cup matches competitively and has made the decision early on to exclude them from the selection process.
Damien Richardson commented, “I’m really excited to be naming my provisional panel for the Dublin Super Cup today as I think it highlights some of the exciting talent we have playing in the Airtricity League. I will now use the coming weeks to fine tune my selection before confirming the final squad. I’m confident we’ll be capable of competing with Celtic and Manchester City in this tournament, which I feel has captured the imagination of the Irish sporting public.
“I’ve already spoken to some of the boys and I know how thrilled they are to be taking part in a game that will be broadcast around the world and already I sense a mood of anticipation and determination beginning to build.”
As well as Manchester City and Celtic being in attendance at the Aviva Stadium, Italian cup winners and current FIFA Club World Cup holders, Inter Milan, will also be in the hunt to win the first Dublin Super Cup. Inter, like the Airtricity XI, will be up against Manchester City and Celtic with the Airtricity League fans relishing the prospect of watching the likes of Samuel Eto’o and Wesley Sneijder in action.
The initial 35-man selection to face Celtic and Manchester City:
Goalkeepers: Ger Doherty (Derry City), Gary Rogers (St Patrick’s Athletic), Alan Mannus (Shamrock Rovers)
Defenders: Pat Sullivan (Shamrock Rovers), Owen Heary (Bohemians), Simon Madden (Dundalk), Stewart Greacen, Shane McEleney (Derry City), Colin Hawkins (Dundalk), Dan Murray, Craig Sives, Ken Oman (Shamrock Rovers), Danny Murphy (Cork City), Daniel Lafferty (Derry City)
Midfielders: Daniel Kearns (Dundalk), Gareth McGlynn (Derry City), Daryl Kavanagh (St Patrick’s Athletic), Gary McCabe (Shamrock Rovers), Barry Molloy, Ruaidhri Higgins (Derry City), Joe Gamble (Limerick), Gary Dempsey (Bray Wanderers), Dave Mulcahy (St Patrick’s Athletic), Dean Bennett (Dundalk), Ronan Finn, Conor McCormack, Stephen Rice (Shamrock Rovers), Killian Brennan (Bohemians), Ross Gaynor (Dundalk), James McClean (Derry City)
Forwards: Gary Twigg, Karl Sheppard (Shamrock Rovers), Eamon Zayed (Derry City), Jason Byrne (Dundalk), Danny North (St Patrick’s Athletic)