Martin O’Neill will name his Ireland squad to take on the Netherlands on Thursday afternoon. Ireland will face the Dutch at the Aviva Stadium on 27 May and the Irish manager intends to name his 23-man squad for Euro 2016 the day after.
The squad will then head to Cork for a training camp and a friendly against Belarus at Turner’s Cross on May 31.
Here is your comprehensive guide to how the Irish players abroad got on this weekend.
Good weekend: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
The veteran Irish striker returned for LA Galaxy after almost two months out following knee surgery and the 35-year-old celebrated his return with two goals in the Galaxy’s 4-2 win over New England.
Keane was taken off just before the hour mark and it’s now four goals in four games for Keane in MLS this season.
The former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur striker returned to Dublin for the international friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia at the Aviva Stadium, but played no part in either game.
Martin O’Neill insisted he had no “real worries” over Keane’s fitness for the Euros as the Irish captain seeks to claim a spot in the 23-man squad and the return to goals is fillip for the Ireland manager.
Bad weekend: Darren Randolph (West Ham)
A calf injury to first-choice West Ham goalkeeper Adrian has opened the door for Darren Randolph to play in the Hammers’ remaining three Premier League games.
However, it was a nightmare return to league action for Randolph as Swansea smashed four past the 28-year-old.
Although the Bray native wasn’t at fault for any of the goals, it was the second time he has conceded four in a match in the league this season, despite making only four starts.
But when Randolph conceded four against Bournemouth on his West Ham league debut earlier this season, he bounced back to keep clean sheets against Liverpool and Newcastle. Up next for Randolph and West Ham is Manchester United on Tuesday night.
Five things we learned this weeekend:
1 Jeff Hendrick’s Euro 2016 hopes were boosted as he returned to the Derby County match-day squad for the first time since March. Although he didn’t come on against Ipswich Town, he is expected to feature in the play-offs before the end of the season.
2 18-year-old midfielder Adam McDonnell made his first start for Ipswich Town on Saturday, two years after signing from Shelbourne.
3 Anthony Pilkington scored for the first time in 12 matches as Cardiff City ended the season with a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City.
4 Irish-qualified Scott Hogan has ended an injury-plagued couple of seasons with seven goals in the last four games, including scoring twice in each of his last three matches.
Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane was in attendance as the 24-year-old scored twice against Huddersfield in Brentford’s 5-1 win.
5 Limerick-born left-back Damien McCrory will be playing Championship football next season after Burton Albion sealed promotion from League One on the final day of the season.
THE WEEKEND IN NUMBERS
Premier League: 11 starters
Goalkeepers (1); Darren Randolph (West Ham)
Defenders (3): Kevin Toner (Aston Villa), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace)
Midfielders (6): James McCarthy (Everton), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Robbie Brady (Norwich), James McClean (West Brom)
Forwards (1): Shane Long (Southampton)
Substitute appearances (4): John O’Shea (Sunderland), Darron Gibson (Everton), Stephen Ireland (Stoke City), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)
Unused substitutes (1): EunanO’Kane (Bournemouth)
Championship: 22 starters
Defenders (9): Cyrus Christie (Derby County), Stephen Kelly (Rotherham United), Paul McShane (Reading), Alex Pearce (Bristol City), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers), Kevin Long (MK Dons), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Matt Doherty (Wolves)
Midfielders (10): Josh Barrett (Reading), Adam McDonnell (Ipswich Town), Lee Frecklington (Rotherham United), Darren Potter (MK Dons), Samir Carruthers (MK Dons), Alan Browne (Preston), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers), Sean Scannell (Huddersfield Town), Aiden McGeady (Sheffield Wednesday).
Forwards (3): David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), Joe Mason (Wolves)
Substitute appearances (5):Jonathan Douglas (Ipswich Town), Paul Green (Rotherham United), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City), Leon Best (Rotherham United), Eoin Doyle (Preston)
Unused substitutes (6):Jack Bonham (Rotherham United), Paddy Kenny (Rotherham United), Derrick Williams (Bristol City), Kevin Foley (Ipswich Town), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Reece Grego-Cox (QPR)
Goals: David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff)
PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND-UP
James McCarthy’s Everton failed to dampen Leicester City’s title-winning party as the Toffees stumbled to yet another defeat at the King Power stadium.
Darron Gibson came on midway through the second-half and conceded a penalty after a clumsy tackle on Jeffrey Schlupp, however Jamie Vardy missed the resulting spot kick that would have completed his hat-trick.
Gibson can however claim his first assist of the season in his seventh Premier League appearance, but all the hard work was done by Kevin Mirallas following a mazy and determined run by the Belgian.
Seamus Coleman has an outside chance of playing some part in Everton’s last two games, but Roberto Martinez may opt against risking the right-back with Euro 2016 on the horizon.
West Ham’s Champions League hopes are all but over after a 4-1 defeat at Swansea with Darren Randolph starting his first Premier League game since September.
Kevin Toner started in the Aston Villa defence on Saturday to make it back-to-back Premier League starts for the Ashbourne man. Villa drew 0-0 with Newcastle to avoid an unwanted club record of 12 consecutive league defeats.
Kevin Toner starts again for Aston Villa. Remarkable...he would have been at Bohemians on loan had paperwork been done in time in February.— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) May 7, 2016
Although more comfortable in his preferred position as a central defender, Toner operated as a left wing-back and kept Andros Townsend at bay for the vast majority of the match.
Ciaran Clark is one of the few Villa players coming out of this season with any credit, and his commanding performance on Saturday against Newcastle demonstrated why the fans want the Irishman to remain with the club in the Championship next season.
The 26-year-old also helped Villakeep their first clean sheet since the start of February.
There was plenty of effort and energy but not enough guile on show from Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan at Carrow Road, as Norwich stand on the verge of an immediate return to the Championship.
It was a second successive start for Hoolahan, who turns 34 later this month, and the first time he has completed the full 90 minutes in over two months.
An injury to Lamine Koné allowed John O’Shea to play the final 35 minutes in Sunderland’s dramatic 3-2 win against Chelsea. The former Manchester United kept Chelsea out for the remainder of the matchandwill be hoping to get the chance to start in Wednesday’s game against Everton.
O’Shea hasn’t started since March 1 but the Waterford man knowsa win for Sunderland would seal their place in the Premier League next season.
Harry Arter admitted during the week that he rushed back from injury in March in order to impress Martin O’Neill in the March friendlies. A recurrence of his Achilles injury during that period ruled the Ireland midfielder out for the following six weeks, and Arter has promised not to rush back in future.
The 26-year-old was the standout performer in Bournemouth’s final home game of the season, against West Brom, though he was lucky to go unpunished for a late tackle on Darren Fletcher.
His injury-plagued season has been limited to just 21 league starts but it’s still considerable more than Eunan O’Kane’s six, although the Derry man has come off the bench on 10 occasions.
O’Kane hasn’t featured in over a month for the Cherries after being an unused substitute again this weekend. James McClean started for the sixth consecutive game for the Baggies in the 1-1 draw.
Glenn Whelan started for Stoke as the Potters’ winless run extended to six matches after defeat at Crystal Palace. Jon Walters came off the bench to play 25 minutes for Mark Hughes’ side. Walters’ return to fitness is a massive boost for O’Neill after the former Ipswich Town forward clocked up 34 minutes of game time against Sunderland last weekend.
Marc Wilson is unlikely to feature for Stoke before the end of the season after failing to come through an U21 friendly for Stoke, but Mark Hughes has said he could still be fit for the summer. Shay Given however may return in time to play in Stoke’s last match against West Ham.
Damien Delaney started for Palace to make his 31st start in the Premier League this season as the Eagles’ secured their place in the top flight for next season.
Shane Long failed to score for a third game in a row on Sunday, despite leading Southampton’s attack in their victory over Tottenham. The 29-year-old was as lively as ever but should have scored when his header from six yards out went wide with the Tottenham goal gaping.
Chris Hughton’s Brighton must come through the play-offs to reach the Premier League after failing to beat Middlesbrough in their must-win game at the Riverside with Richie Towell left out of the Seagulls’ matchday squad.
The draw was enough to secure Boro’s return to the Premier League after seven years in the Championship.
Stephen Ward and Burnley ensured their instant return to the Premier League with victory over QPR last Monday and sealed the Championship title with a comfortable 3-0 win over already-relegated Charlton – with Ward assisting the first goal, his fourth of the season.
Stephen Henderson was missing from the Charlton matchday squad.
Brighton’s opponents in their play-off semi-final will be Sheffield Wednesday and the Owls made 10 changes to the side that beat Cardiff last week,in their 2-1 defeat to Wolves, which included resting goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.
Aiden McGeady though did manage to complete 90 minutes for the first time for Wednesday in his 10th start for the club.
Matt Doherty and Joe Mason both started for Wolves, with the Irish defender providing the cross that caused Michael Turner to put the ball into his own net for the opening goal of the game. That was Doherty’s third assist of the season.
Neither Brian Lenihan nor David Meylerwere involved as Hull thrashed Rotherham United 5-1. It’s not known if Meyler will be fit enough to play against Derby County next weekend.
The Millers did take the lead in the game at the KC Stadium thanks to a goal by Lee Frecklington, the midfielder’s fifth of the season.
Stephen Kelly started alongside Frecklington with Paul Green and Leon Best coming off the bench.
Derby will come into the game against Hull on the back of a defeat against Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town.
A David McGoldrick penalty following a foul on Teddy Bishop by Richard Keogh gave the Tractor Boys all three points and very respectable seventh place finish.
Keogh has started every league game for Derby this season, but his reckless tackle conspired following a poor clearance from the Derby captain just moments earlier. He was taken off at half-time having picked up a yellow card.
Cyrus Christie also started for Derby with Jeff Hendrick an unused substitute.The Dubliner has been out of action since the middle of March.
Adam McDonnell made his first league start for Ipswich Town, with the 18-year-old creative midfielder playing 55 minutes before being replaced by Jonathan Douglas.Daryl Murphy was left out with McCarthy not wanting to rush the striker back before the summer.
The three relegated teams were confirmed a couple of weeks ago with MK Dons joining Charlton and Bolton Wanderers in League One next season.
The Dons waved goodbye to the Championship with a 2-1 home defeat to Nottingham Forest. Darren Potter and Samir Carruthers started for the home side with Kevin Long starting in the heart of the defence for the second weekend in a row. Long will now return back to his parent club Burnley.
Anthony Pilkington ended a run of 11 matches without a goal by scoring the equaliser in Cardiff’s 1-1 draw against Birmingham, with Stephen Gleeson coming on as a substitute for the Blues.
Gleeson finished the season starting just two out of Birmingham’s last five games, having started all but one of their league matches previously.
Irish-qualified Scott Hoganhas now scored seven goals in his last four games for Brentford, after the Bees’ striker scored twice against a Huddersfield side that contained Sean Scannell.
Shane Duffy and Darragh Lenihan started as Blackburn Rovers beat Brian McDermott’s Reading 3-1 in Paul Lambert’s last game in charge of Rovers.
Paul McShane, Stephen Quinn and highly-rated Josh Barrett all started for the Royals. It was the 17-year-old’s first start in professional football but was taken off at half-time with Reading two goals down.
Injury ruled Preston’s Player of the Year, Greg Cunningham out of their draw with Leeds, although their Young Player of the Year, Alan Browne did make his 27th league start. Striker Eoin Doyle will return to parent club Cardiff after managing just four goals in his 28 league appearances for the Lilywhites.
Alex Pearce’s unproductive loan spell at Bristol City ended with a 1-0 defeat at QPR. Having failed to make a league appearance for Derby since joining from Reading in the summer, the Irish defender decided to go on-loan to the Robins but he has managed only three league starts since January.
19-year-old Reece Grego-Cox was an unused substitute for QPR. The attacker made his debut for Rangers in the Premier League last season but has managed just one Carling Cup appearance this term.
LEAGUE ONE ROUND-UP
Burton Albion will play in the second tier of English football for the very first time after a nervy 0-0 draw at Doncaster Rovers. Left-back Damien McCrory started his 37th game of the season with the 26-year-old now looking forward to life in the Championship.
That result meant relegation for Doncaster Rovers and Paul Keegan, although the Home Farm graduate hasn’t played since March.
Limerick native Anthony Forde doubled his goal tally for the season with a brace against Port Vale but the 5-0 victory for the Saddlers wasn’t enough for automatic promotion after Burton’s draw.
Barnsley booked their place in the play-offs in style, with a 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic. Conor Hourihane entered double figures in the league with his goal in the 56th minute but a straight red for Chris McCann means he will be suspended for the start of the new Championship season for Wigan.
Paddy Madden scored his 23rd goal of the season but Scunthorpe United’s 2-0 win proved insignificant following Barnsley’s victory at Wigan.
John Egan’s Gillingham missed out on a place in the top six after defeat to Millwall, although other results meant that even if the Gills had won they still would have finished outside the play-off positions.
Egan looked to have given Gillingham a share of the spoils but a late penalty gave play-off bound Millwall all three points.
Aiden O’Brien earlier had given the Lions the lead with his 13th goal of the season, that strike was the 22-year-old’s first goal in seven matches.
Bradford City already had their play-off place secure before beating Chesterfield on Sunday, but a 2-0 win and a goal from Billy Clarke will ensure they will go into their match against Millwall full of confidence. Ireland U21 midfielder Josh Cullen also started against the Spireites.
Former Cork City striker David Mooney scored his first goal since February and his eight goal of the season as Southend United lost to Bury.
Blackpool were playing in the Premier League just five years ago but defeat against Chris Forrester’s Peterborough United ensured they will be in League Two next season. Colin Doyle was in goal for the Seasiders as the Posh shipped five goals past a hapless Blackpool side.
LEAGUE TWO ROUND-UP
League Two champions Northampton Town ended the season with a 2-1 win at Portsmouth, who themselves will enter the play-offs.
James Collins came off the bench to score the winner for the Cobblers – his 15th goal of the season. Collins’ loan spell is now over but may well be well be with Northampton next season. John-Joe O’Toole also started for Northampton with Brendan Moloney left out of the matchday squad.
Goalkeeper Brian Murphy and midfielder Adam Barton made rare starts for Pompey, who had Enda Stevens and Michael Doyle on the bench with one eye on the upcoming play-offs.
Northampton will be joined in League One by Oxford United and Bristol Rovers thanks to their wins on the final day.
Irish U21 striker Calum O’Dowda got the third of Oxford’s three goals in their win over Wycombe – his eight league goal of the season, while former Limerick striker Rory Gaffney started for Bristol Roversas they edged past Dagenham & Redbridge with a last-gasp winner.
Seamus Conneely was part of the Accrington Stanley defence that kept a clean sheet but the goalless draw against Stevenage means they must now come through the play-offs to gain promotion.
Jamie Devitt has the most assists in the division with 15, but took his goal tally up to six with a superb strike in Morecambe’s draw against York.
NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUND-UP
Padraig Amond scored a penalty as Grimsby recovered from their first-leg defeat against Braintree to secure a place in the National League promotion final against Forest Green.
The former Shamrock Rovers striker has now scored 31 goals in the league this season.
Que sera sera, what ever will be will be, we're going to Wembley, que sera sera 😝😝😝😝— Padraig Amond (@padraigamond21) May 8, 2016
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Amond equalised on the 75th minute before a winner in extra time booked their place at Wembley.
REST OF THE WORLD ROUND-UP
In Scotland, Celtic wrapped up their fifth successive title with a 3-2 win over Aberdeen. Jonny Hayes produced his eight of the season, in another impressive performance from the 28-year-old winger. Adam Rooney missed the game after picking up a slight knock after making his comeback last week.
Hibernian are through to the Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final after overturning a 1-0 deficit against Raith Rovers at Easter Road, thanks to two early goals. Conrad Logan started in goal while Anthony Stokes provided the assist for the first goal.
In Cyprus, Cillian Sheridan came off the bench for Omonia after 70 minutes in their 3-1 win over AEK Larnaca.
Jack Byrne watched from the stands as Cambuur ended their season with another defeat, this time against Excelsior. Cambuur’s relegation from the Eredivisie was confirmed last week.
In MLS, Kevin Doyle started for Colorado Rapids and notched up his first assist of the season as the Rapids beat Salt Lake 1-0, to record their fifth home win of the season while Robbie Keane took his goal tally for the season to four after a brace against New England on his return from knee surgery.
Team of the Weekend (4-4-2): Conrad Logan (Hibernian);Cyrus Christie (Derby County), John Egan (Gillingham), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Kevin Toner (Aston Villa);Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), ConorHourihane (Barnsley), Anthony Forde (Walsall); David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)