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Forrester among the new faces in 40-man Ireland squad for upcoming double-header

The Boys in Green face Switzerland and Slovakia in friendlies later this month.

Forrester is called up for the first time after impressing for Peterborough.
Forrester is called up for the first time after impressing for Peterborough.
Image: EMPICS Sport

IRELAND HAVE NAMED a 40-man provisional squad for this month’s friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia.

The Boys in Green play warm-up games at the Aviva Stadium on 25 and 29 March ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016 finals.

Martin O’Neill has selected four uncapped players in Peterborough United’s Chris Forrester, Brentford midfielder Alan Judge, Wolves full-back Matt Doherty and Jonny Hayes of Aberdeen.

Former St Patrick’s Athletic star Forrester, in particular, has excelled as a holding midfielder for League One outfit The Posh since joining last August.

“He has done very well,” O’Neill said of Forrester. “I watched one of the games he has played in and the reports have been pretty good.

“I’ve had a voice message from (Peterborough director of football) Barry Fry to tell me how brilliant he has been as well. That’s hardly surprising from Barry!”

Shay Given is currently working his way back to fitness after undergoing knee surgery, while Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney is sidelined through injury.

IRELAND SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), David Forde (Millwall), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United).

Defenders: Cyrus Christie (Derby County), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Bristol City on-loan from Derby County), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Paul McShane (Reading), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Midfielders: Robbie Brady (Norwich City), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Darron Gibson (Everton), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O’Kane (Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Paul Green (Rotherham United), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City), David Meyler (Hull City), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Aiden McGeady (Sheffield Wednesday – on-loan from Everton), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Judge (Brentford), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen), Chris Forrester (Peterborough United), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)

Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Anthony Stokes (Celtic – on-loan at Hibernian), Simon Cox (Reading).

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Ben Blake

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