REPUBLIC of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill was in Limerick this morning to announce a provisional 29-man squad for the upcoming friendly against Serbia on March 5.
He revealed the squad prior to a press conference at County Hall on a day that will conclude with his presence at a Q & A function at Thomond Park hosted by Limerick FC.
The major omission from the squad was Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane, who will remain with LA Galaxy as they prepare for the start of their season on March 8.
The squad will be trimmed to 23 players closer to the Serbia match, with O’Neill carefully monitoring his players’ fitness between now and then.
The only uncapped player in the provisional squad is Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliott. Other notable inclusions were Anthony Stokes, who scored a hat-trick for Celtic in their 3-0 victory over St Johnstone on Sunday, and Kevin Doyle, who has been in encouraging scoring form since joining QPR on loan three weeks ago.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD v SERBIA
Goalkeepers: Rob Elliott (Newcastle), David Forde (Millwall), Darren Randolph (Birmingham)
Defenders: Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace), Richard Dunne (QPR), Stephen Kelly (Reading), Richard Keogh (Derby), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Stephen Ward (Brighton), Marc Wilson (Stoke)
Midfielders: Paul Green (Leeds), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), James McCarthy (Everton), James McClean (Wigan), Aiden McGeady (Everton), David Meyler (Hull), Anthony Pilkington (Norwich), Stephen Quinn (Hull), Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest), Glenn Whelan (Stoke)
Strikers: Simon Cox (Nottingham Forest), Kevin Doyle (QPR), Shane Long (Hull), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), Jonathan Walters (Stoke)