Monday, November 15, 2010

Trapattoni to give youth a chance

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is likely to give some of his younger players an international start due to the number of senior players who have reported injured ahead of Wednesday's friendly game with Norway in Dublin.

The Irish boss has lost six of the players he initially named for the game and has further doubts over Sean St Ledger, Paul Green and striker Kevin Doyle, who were due to be assessed today.

Captain Robbie Keane is out with an ankle injury, Kevin Kilbane has withdrawn with a back problem and Richard Dunne, Paul McShane and Caleb Folan have varying knee injuries.

In addition, Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson has not reported for the squad due to a family illness.

Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark was named in a revised squad on Friday afternoon, but damaged a calf in the warm-up before Saturday's Premier League draw with Man United and has withdrawn.

As a result, Trapattoni has signalled his intention to have a look at young Everton defender Seamus Coleman, Greg Cunningham, who is currently on loan at Leicester from Manchester City, and Stoke striker Jon Walters. Celtic's Darron O'Dea and Stoke's Marc Wilson are also likely to feature during the game.

Trapattoni, who is awaiting Aiden McGeady's arrival from club duty with Spartak Moscow later today, said: "We are missing many injured players, but it is important in this friendly game to look at other young players.

"The likes of Coleman, Cunningham and Walters, it is very important for them and for us.

"The players, we know, but with us, they can increase in confidence and personality.
"It will be important in the future that these players are available to us."

St Ledger and Green will have scans on knee injuries today, while Doyle will have further examinations on the broken bone in his hand.

Wednesday's game is the first since last month's Euro 2012 double-header, which saw Ireland lose at home to Russia and draw in Slovakia.

However, Trapattoni insists there will be plenty at stake.

He said: "I have said many times in the past, there is no such thing as a friendly game for the national team.

"When players play for their country, when they have that shirt on, they have pride, they must be proud because they are playing for their country."