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Trapattoni names squad for Kazakhstan clash

Updated: Saturday, 25 Aug 2012 10:57 | Comments

Will Damien Duff's departure from the international scene pave the way for  James McClean to become a permanent fixture in Giovanni Trapattoni's side?
Will Damien Duff's departure from the international scene pave the way for James McClean to become a permanent fixture in Giovanni Trapattoni's side?

Giovanni Trapattoni has named a 23-man squad for the Republic of Ireland’s opening 2014 World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan in Astana on 7 September.

The same complement of players will take on Oman in a friendly fixture at Craven Cottage in London just four days later.

The squad announcement in Dublin was very much upstaged by the revelation of Damien Duff’s retirement from international action after amassing a century of Republic of Ireland caps.

Shane Long, who Trapattoni labelled "idiotic" last week after the striker announced he was fully fit to play in the goalless draw with Serbia, is included in the squad.

Motherwell's uncapped goalkeeper Darren Randolph is also called up and Stoke utility player Marc Wilson could add to the single cap he earned from the bench in the 2011 Nations Cup game against Wales.

Seven of the players named for the World Cup qualifier have five or less international caps to their name.

They are Wilson, Randolph, Millwall's David Forde, Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, Sunderland winger James McClean, Everton's Seamus Coleman and West Ham's Joey O'Brien.

Robbie Keane, who made his debut with the now-retired Duff in 1998, is the most experienced member of the squad with 120 caps and 53 goals.

Trapattoni said: "It is important to get off to a good start at the opening match of our 2014 campaign.

"Kazakhstan is a good side who have caused difficulties at home for a number of leading teams, but we know our strengths and will be relying on them when we travel to Astana in September.

"We will be without Damien Duff who has been a truly great player for his country. I thank Damien for his immense contribution and hope his professionalism and dedication will be an inspiration to the wingers who are now emerging in his place."

Republic of Ireland: Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Gibson, McCarthy, Whelan, Coleman, O’Brien, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.

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