Source: Athena Pictures
MARTIN O’NEILL HAS named a 30-man provisional squad for this month’s international friendly away to Turkey.
The Boys in Green begin 2018 with a trip to Antalya, where they will take part in a training camp before facing the 38th-ranked team in the world on Friday, 23 March.
Having signed a new deal in January, the Ireland boss had indicated that he would give younger players a chance in the upcoming game, and West Ham teenager Declan Rice has been included.
Capped at U21 level and comfortable at centre-half or defensive midfield, Rice trained with the senior squad in Fota Island last year, but he could now be in line to make his bow in two weeks’ time.
There are also first-time call-ups for Sheffield United full-back Enda Stevens, Manchester United goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara and Blackburn Rovers pair Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams.
Several experienced players have been rested for the game, but while Daryl Murphy and Wes Hoolahan have announced their international retirements, O’Neill revealed that others are still weighing up whether to stick around for the next campaign.
Captain Seamus Coleman makes a welcome return, having recovered from a double leg break suffered against Wales last April.
The squad is likely to be whittled down to 25 names in the coming weeks.
Provisional Ireland squad to face Turkey
Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), John Egan (Brentford), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United).
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), David Meyler (Hull City), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), Liam Kelly (Reading), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion).
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End).
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