Afternoon all. Welcome to the Aviva Stadium on Lansdowne Road where we will shortly learn the names of the 23 players in Ireland’s Euro 2012 squad.
Giovanni Trapattoni is expected to join us at 3.30pm, and we’ll have all of the news and reaction right here.
Here’s the view from inside the Aviva Stadium press room as we await Trap’s arrival.
It’s a bit more full than that poorly-taken picture suggests.
What do we know then? Well, Trap has indicated that he will name a 23-man squad today for the European Championships and for the pre-tournament warm-up games.
He’s also indicated that he will pick a few standby players in case of injuries, although he probably won’t announce these names and will inform the players themselves on a one-to-one basis.
As for the make up of the squad, the only thing that’s set in stone is that we must bring three goalkeepers under UEFA rules. It’s expected that the breakdown will be seven defenders, eight midfielders and five strikers, but that’s just educated guesswork really. Trap could yet decide to drop a striker in favour of an extra defender or midfielder…
Five minutes to Trap time. The press room is positively buzzing.
Trap will name five players on standby this afternoon.
Ireland squad: Given, Westwood, Forde, Dunne, O’Shea, St.Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, Foley, Whelan, Gibson, Andrews, Fahey, Duff, McGeady, Hunt, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Cox, Long, Walters.
Standby: Randolph, McShane, Green, Coleman, Keogh
Giovanni Trapattoni has entered the building.
We’ve been issued a statement on behalf of James McCarthy, who will not travel to the European Championships. He has made the “very difficult decision” to withdraw following the diagnosis of his father with cancer. Our best wishes to the family.
Trap: It wasn’t easy to choose the 23 players for the squad because we have very many good players.
Trap: I’ve spoken to all the players on the standby list and to those who didn’t make the squad.
Trap says that he had planned to include James McCarthy in his squad until informed of the news of his father’s illness last week. He stresses that McCarthy will remain in his plans for the future.
Trap: McClean is playing well, and not only because of his goals. He will surely be with us in the next campaign as well [WC 2014].
Re the pre-tournament warm-up matches, Trap says that he hopes to use all of the players who are fit at the time.
Asked about Sean St Ledger and some of the other players who haven’t played too frequently of late, Trapattoni says that he plans to bring some of the squad to camp a few days early so that they can do a bit more work.
Re McClean: I think he can give us energy. We have three games in 10 days, and if we are playing Duff and McGeady, McClean can be important in the third game.
Asked about options for the left side of defence, Trapattoni says that both O’Shea and Kelly are capable of playing in the position.
Asked about the possibility of James McCarthy making alternative arrangements to join the squad, Trapattoni says that McCarthy decided that he needed to stay at home and that he has to respect that decision.
Trap asked to compare McClean to a young Toto Schillachi:
When we bought Del Piero for Juventus, he was 17 and on the bench. When we sent him on, he scored within four minutes. I told Marco he would have a great career.
McClean believes, and this situation is important
May God be on his side that he’s like Schillaci.
Asked about Hoolihan, Trapattoni says that he was not willing to sacrifice his system of two strong central midfielders, two wide men and two strikers.
Trap: We have a strong team with this organisation and with this balance.
And that concludes the electronic media part of the squad announcement. Trapattoni will now have a few words with the print press before finishing up.
To recap on the main points from this afternoon’s announcement:
- Giovanni Trapattoni has named a 23-man squad for next month’s European Championships, with five players on a standby list.
- James McCarthy has taken the difficult decision to withdraw from the squad following the diagnosis of his father with cancer.
- Sunderland winger James McClean has been included as one of Trapattoni’s eight midfielders.
That’s all from the liveblog here at the Aviva Stadium, but we’ll have plenty more reaction and analysis on the site as the afternoon progresses.