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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

Which goalkeepers will Ireland take to the Euros?

With Rob Elliot injured, there has been much discussion over who will take his place in the squad this summer.


Darren Randolph (West Ham)

West Ham United v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Fourth Round Replay - Upton Park Source: Nick Potts

Total appearances this season: 18
League appearances this season: 3

FOR A SECOND-CHOICE goalkeeper, it hasn’t been a bad season for Darren Randolph.

The West Ham stopper has established himself in the Ireland goalkeeping jersey and also impressed when playing during the Hammers’ FA Cup run.

Despite his lack of first-team league action at club level, Randolph hasn’t done much wrong in a green jersey and is consequently expected to retain the number one spot for the Euros this summer.

Shay Given (Stoke)

Manchester City v Stoke City - Barclays Premier League - Etihad Stadium Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Total appearances this season: 7
League appearances this season: 2

Given has been injured more often than not this season, and when he has been available, he has invariably found Jack Butland ahead of him in the pecking order at Stoke.

If the Donegal native is fit, then he will almost certainly travel to the Euros. And while the 40-year-old is unlikely to start any matches for Ireland, Martin O’Neill will likely bring him on the plane for his experience and leadership skills more than anything else.


David Forde (Millwall)

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Millwall v Brighton and Hove Albion - The Den Source: EMPICS Sport

Total appearances this season: 10
League appearances this season: 8

Forde has had a disappointing season at Millwall, in which he has been second choice behind Jordan Archer for much of the campaign.

While the 36-year-old lost his number one jersey during the qualifying campaign, he has been picked consistently for squads and will therefore fancy his chances of making the 23-man panel.

The Galway native’s lack of game time at club level could hamper his chances, however. And with Given and Randolph also not first choice at their clubs, O’Neill may want to select at least one goalkeeper who is playing regular first-team football for their club.

Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet Championship - Hillsborough Source: Richard Sellers

Total appearances this season: 33
League appearances this season: 33

The Sheffield Wednesday man has been in good form, with his club manager Carlos Carvalhal recently describing him as the “best goalkeeper in the Championship”.

Nonetheless, O’Neill has seemed reluctant to pick Westwood in the past, despite a series of impressive performances at club level.

He last played in the 2015 0-0 friendly draw with England and was selected on just one other occasion by O’Neill — the 3-0 friendly win over Latvia in the Derry native’s first game in charge.

But ominously for Westwood, he has been left out of recent final squads, with Randolph, Given, Forde and Rob Elliot all picked ahead of him at various points.

Outside bets

Stephen Henderson (Charlton)

Charlton Athletic v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - The Valley Source: EMPICS Sport

Total appearances this season: 22
League appearances this season: 22

The former West Ham stopper had been enjoying a decent season for Charlton up until late February, when he picked up a calf injury.

Unfortunately, the 27-year-old has been restricted to the bench since returning from the setback, with Nick Pope impressing in his absence.

Although he has made more league appearances than Randolph, Forde and Given combined, Henderson has yet to be capped at senior level and has not got a look-in under O’Neill, so barring an injury crisis, he’s highly unlikely to travel.

Danny Rogers (Falkirk, on loan from Aberdeen)

Falkirk v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Championship - Falkirk Stadium Source: Jeff Holmes

Total appearances this season: 39
League appearances this season: 34

Another player who’d probably have to rely on at least two injuries to have any chance of getting picked, the 22-year-old is nonetheless one for the future.

Unlike most of the goalkeepers mentioned above, he has had a terrific season at club level, featuring regularly for a Falkirk side that are currently second below Rangers in the Scottish Championship.

Moreover, Martin O’Neill did say he’d take form into consideration when picking the squad, so Rogers at least has that in his favour.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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