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Dundalk's Gary Rogers set to be part of Ireland squad to face Serbia
David Forde indicated he would be unavailable for the coming games, as he wants to focus on retaining his first-team place at Portsmouth.

Updated at 15.20

IRELAND MANAGER MARTIN O’Neill has indicated that Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers is likely to be part of the Ireland squad to face Serbia in next week’s World Cup qualifier.

The 34-year-old has yet to win a cap at international level, but trained with the senior squad before in the lead up to Euro 2016.

The international schedule coincides with Dundalk matches in the coming days, and O’Neill indicated Rogers could conceivably play League of Ireland matches tonight, Friday and Tuesday, but said he would travel to Serbia for Monday’s crucial qualifier provided Stephen Kenny’s side were happy to facilitate the Irish team.

If he plays, Rogers would become the first League of Ireland player to line out for Ireland since then-Cork City star Joe Gamble was involved in Steve Staunton’s side’s US tour in 2007.

O’Neill also indicated that he would have considered calling up “one or two” more Dundalk players to train with the squad if their schedule hadn’t been so hectic.

Rogers comes into the squad after 36-year-old goalkeeper David Forde indicated he would be unavailable for the coming games, as he wants to focus on retaining his first-team place at Portsmouth.

Elsewhere, it was confirmed that James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and John O’Shea would play no part in tomorrow night’s friendly with Oman as they bid to be fit in time for the Serbia encounter, while O’Neill indicated there was a strong chance that Robbie Keane would start in what will be his final game for the national team.

O’Neill also suggested that Shay Given had been offered a chance to bow out in the Oman game, but the Donegal native, who recently announced his retirement from international football, didn’t want to take any of the “limelight” away from others.

The Irish manager added that the team to face Oman was likely to be a combination of first-team players and others who are in need of game time, citing Aiden McGeady as an example.

The Everton winger hasn’t played for the Toffees in over a year and wasn’t given a squad number by new boss Ronald Koeman this season, as his future at club level remains uncertain.

In addition, Shane Long and Jeff Hendrick both trained today, despite doubts surrounding the pair’s fitness of late.

O’Neill also confirmed that he was on the verge of signing a new contract as Ireland manager, while joking that the deal would be complete in the next “year and a half”.

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