The Republic of Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane made the final 23-man squad for the Euro 2016 named by manager Martin O’Neill on Tuesday after the team’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Belarus in Cork.
The LA Galaxy striker’s place appeared to be under threat after suffering a calf problem, but he was named alongside fellow forwards Shane Long and Daryl Murphy.
O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane also decided to pick Sheffield Wednesday’s Keiren Westwood as the third-choice goalkeeper ahead of Millwall stopper David Forde, who started Ireland’s qualifying campaign as number one.
Westwood is the only keeper in the squad who plays regular first-team football at club level, as Darren Randolph and 40-year-old Shay Given were both back-ups last season at West Ham United and Stoke City respectively. Start predicting EURO now click naijabet,com
Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter impressed in a 1-1 friendly draw with the Netherlands on Friday, but misses out after picking up a thigh injury in training on Monday.
His club teammate Eunan O’Kane, Everton midfielder Darron Gibson, Oxford United youngster Callum O’Dowda and striker David McGoldrick were the others to be cut from the 29-strong provisional squad.
Southampton’s Long is likely to lead the line for O’Neill’s side at the Euros, with Murphy picked ahead of Ipswich Town teammate McGoldrick despite having never scored in his 20 international appearances.
The other good news for Ireland supporters is that Everton centre midfielder James McCarthy has been named on the list despite struggling with a thigh injury.
Ireland play Sweden, Italy and Belgium in Group E in the tournament France.
Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Stoke City/ENG), Darren Randolph (West Ham United/ENG), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday/ENG)
Defenders: (Cyrus Christie (Derby County/ENG), Seamus Coleman (Everton/ENG), Richard Keogh (Derby County/ENG), Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers/ENG), John O’Shea (Sunderland/ENG), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa/ENG), Stephen Ward (Burnley/ENG), Robbie Brady (Norwich City/ENG)
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sheffield Wednesday/ENG), David Meyler (Hull City/ENG), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County/ENG), Stephen Quinn (Reading/ENG), James McCarthy (Everton/ENG), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City/ENG), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City/ENG), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City/ENG), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion/ENG)
Strikers: Shane Long (Southampton/ENG), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town/ENG), Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy/USA)