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The 23 best Irish players not included in the Euro 2016 squad

Alan Judge and others who didn’t make the cut for one reason or another.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

MARTIN O’NEILL’S 23-MAN Euro 2016 squad was confirmed last night, with few controversial choices.

However, we believe there is a degree of talent beyond the names picked last night.

Consequently, here’s our alternative 23-man squad of players chosen, but left out, whether it is due to injury, inexperience, poor form or unavailability, shaped in the manner of a typical Euros squad.

Goalkeepers

Rob Elliot: Would almost certainly have made the plane if it wasn’t for injury, Elliot enjoyed a fine season with Newcastle in the Premier League.

Danny Rogers: The young Aberdeen goalkeeper made the Scottish Championship team of the season while on loan at Falkirk.

Ian Lawlor: The Man City youngster impressed on loan at Bury this season, and is considered one of Ireland’s brightest prospects.

Defenders

Damien Delaney: Arguably the standout Irish centre-back this season, Delaney helped Crystal Palace reach the FA Cup final.

Tommie Hoban: Was vital in helping Watford gain promotion to the Premier League, but injury problems meant the 22-year-old failed to get a look in once they got to the top flight.

Greg Cunningham: Preston’s player of the year, Cunningham will have been disappointed to have missed out on Ireland’s Euro 2016 squad after making a couple of provisional lists.

Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship - Deepdale Source: EMPICS Sport

Matt Doherty: The player of the year at Wolves, the 24-year-old former Bohs youngster has a promising future in the game.

Marc Wilson: Would probably have made the squad if he stayed fit, 28-year-old Wilson remains a talented footballer whose versatility at the back may yet prove useful in future.

John Egan: Made the League One team of the year, Egan is expected to move on from Gillingham after recently rejecting the offer of a new contract, with Championship side Brentford among the clubs believed to be interested.

Paul McShane: Failed to make the Ireland squad after a poor display in the recent friendly against Slovakia, McShane nevertheless had a good season with Reading in the Championship.

Midfielders

Callum O’Dowda: Enjoyed an impressive cameo against Belarus and is rightly considered to be one of Ireland’s best prospects for the future.

Darron Gibson: Had a nightmare season with Everton but still a talented player on his day.

Jack Byrne: One of Ireland’s brightest prospects, Byrne enjoyed a fine season with Cambuur in the Dutch league and is expected to become an Ireland international in the near future.

Soccer - Barclays U18 Premier League - Final - Manchester City v Everton - Goodison Park Source: Mike Egerton

Chris Forrester: The player of the season at Peterborough, Forrester has made a seamless transition from the League of Ireland to British football.

Alan Browne: The 21-year-old Cork-born midfielder has been excellent for Preston this season and has been linked with a Premier League move in recent times, though he decided to sign a new contract back in March.

Harry Arter: Desperately unlucky not to travel, Bournemouth star Arter was expected to make the cut were it not for a last-minute injury he suffered.

Jonny Hayes: Nominated for Player of the Year in Scotland, Hayes is another who can count himself unlucky not to make the squad.

Republic of Ireland v Switzerland - International Friendly - Aviva Stadium Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Alan Judge: Ireland’s standout player outside of the Premier League, Judge was regularly working miracles for Brentford, earning a Player-of-the-Year nomination for his efforts, before a leg break ended his season prematurely.

Eunan O’Kane: Impressed sporadically when given a chance by Martin O’Neill, but ultimately failed to make the 23-man squad due to his lack of game time at club level.

Forwards

Anthony Pilkington: An accomplished finisher, Pilkington did well whether played as a winger or a makeshift striker for Cardiff this season, managing nine goals in the Championship overall.

David McGoldrick: The Ipswich star would have had a much better chance of making it were it not for a series of injury problems affecting his fitness, but with Daryl Murphy and Robbie Keane not getting any younger, we have surely not seen the last of the 28-year-old in a green jersey.

Kevin Doyle: May have been overlooked for the squad, but has been in decent form for the high-flying Colorado Rapids in the MLS.

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Adam Rooney: Another who missed out seemingly due to lack of international experience, Rooney has been in superb form for Aberdeen for the past two seasons, managing 20 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this year.

On standby: Stephen Henderson, Alex Pearce, Stephen Gleeson, Conor Hourihane, Anthony Stokes, Joe Mason.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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