Republic of Ireland of senior international footballer manager Mick McCarthy has finalized his 23 man squad for the opening UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers away to Gibraltar on March 23rd and at home against Georgia three days later.
Cyrus Christie and Aiden McGeady are two of the notable omissions from the squad.
Luton Town striker James Collins has kept his place after initially being named in the provisional 38 man squad, while Aston Villa midfielder Glenn Whelan is also included after earning a surprise recall from McCarthy.
Everton midfielder James McCarthy is among those missing out as he strives for match fitness following a leg fracture which has prevented him making a senior appearance for his club since January last year.
Kevin Long, Stephen Ward, David Meyler, Scott Hogan and Aiden O’Brien – all regular squad members under Martin O’Neill – have all missed the cut for the final 23 man squad.
McCarthy named Preston midfielder Alan Browne and Portsmouth striker Ronan Curtis but both have had to withdraw due to injury with their replacements yet to be named.
Ciaran Clark, Callum Robinson, Jonathan Walters and Michael Obafemi had already been ruled out by injury.
When asked if he would field a second string XI against minnows Gibraltar in the opening match in consideration of the much tougher test against Georgia three days later, McCarthy answered: “Am I as green as I am cabbage-looking? We want to beat Gibraltar as that’s our first game. I don’t want any backlash from that.
“We’ll go there with the strongest team I have and try and win that game.”
Republic of Ireland squad for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers v Gibraltar & Georgia:
GOALKEEPERS: D. Randolph (Middlesbrough), K. Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), M. Travers (Bournemouth)
DEFENDERS: S. Coleman (Everton), M. Doherty (Wolves), R. Keogh (Derby), J. Egan (Sheffield United), S. Duffy (Brighton), E. Stevens (Sheffield United)
MIDFIELD: A. Judge (Ipswich), J. Hendrick (Burnley), C. Hourihane (Aston Villa), A. Browne (Preston), H. Arter (Cardiff), G. Whelan (Aston Villa), R. Brady (Burnley), C. O’Dowda (Bristol City), J. McClean (Stoke)
FORWARDS: S. Long (Southampton), S. Maguire (Preston), R. Curtis (Portsmouth), D. McGoldrick (Sheffield United), J. Collins (Luton).