BY CHRIS MCNULTY
SEAMUS Coleman has been named as one of five stand-by players for the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 squad by manager Giovanni Trapattoni today.
121-times capped goalkeeper Shay Given is the sole Donegal representative on the 23-man panel that will head to Poland for next month’s tournament, while thoughts are with Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy – who is Irish qualified through his grandfather, Paddy Coyle, who hailed from Doirenamainsear, Annagry.
McCarthy withdrew from contention after his father was diagnosed with cancer, the player informing Trapattoni of his decision last week.
“Last week, he called me and told me what had happened with his family, and I told him, ‘I am sorry, I am very, very sorry’,” Trapattoni said today.
“But he has decided to remain at home because he has a very heavy duty for his parents.
“I told him immediately that we would continue to follow him and that he will be in our plans for the future. He said, ‘Thanks for this’.”
“I spoke with him but he said that he was psychologically not ready.
“It’s difficult for him because the situation is his parents. He said he was sad and not confident about the situation.
“I said ‘okay, think about the future’.”
Trapattoni revealed that the 21-year old Scot would have made his 23-man squad, with his absence opening the door for the inclusion of former Derry City winger James McClean, whose dream season is complete with a call-up.
Trapattoni announced his squad at a press conference at the Aviva Stadium and afterwards the Football Association of Ireland’s press department issued a statement from James McCarthy confirming his withdrawal.
“I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw my name from selection for the Euro 2012 squad following the diagnosis of my father with cancer and an on-going requirement for treatment,” it read.
“I have discussed this with the manager. He was very understanding, and I thank him sincerely for that.
“I take this opportunity to re-affirm my complete commitment to playing for the Republic of Ireland. It is a huge honour and source of great pride for me and my family. Despite not being present, I would like to wish the manager and my teammates every success at the tournament and hope that Irish fans can understand the reason for my decision at this difficult time.”
Coleman is on the stand-by list alongside goalkeeper Darren Randolph, Paul McShane, Paul Green and Andy Keogh. The Killybegs man has had a difficult season, that has been stop-start due to some injuries, while he also suffered a dip in form.
“I have to make a decision. And I do not forget them for the next campaign, for the World Cup. But we have to decide the best for now,” said Trapattoni.
The 73-year old Italian was full of vigor as he talked about his side’s prospects and his plans for the squad over the next month.
He said: “The three aims are to recognise our limits, work to improve them and to have the belief that we can achieve and to never give up.
“Let’s not forget that we have arrived here through the team spirit and the collaboration of the players.
“We have no Messi, Ronaldo or other creative players. We have a strong team with organisation and good balance.
“It has not been easy to choose players for the squad because we have many good players who deserve to be here.
“Many other players deserve to be here because they allow us to qualify. I will not forget them.”
Republic of Ireland Squad – Euro 2012
Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David Forde Millwall).
Defenders: John O’Shea (Sunderland), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Seán St Ledger (Leicester City), Stephen Ward (Wolves), Kevin Foley (Wolves), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Darren O’Dea (Celtic).
Midfielders: Keith Andrews (West Brom), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Darron Gibson (Everton), Damien Duff (Fulham), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), Keith Fahey (Birmingham), James McClean (Sunderland).
Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Simon Cox (West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke), Shane Long (West Brom).
Standby: Darren Randolph (Motherwell), Paul McShane (Crystal Palace), Paul Green (Derby County), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Andy Keogh (Millwall).
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