Football

Two Uncapped 'Keepers Looking To Make International Breakthrough

Two Uncapped 'Keepers Looking To Make International Breakthrough

Having endured a disappointing end to Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign, manager Martin O'Neill appears to be turning his attention a little more toward the unknown.

Ahead of a friendly with Turkey on March 23rd, O'Neill's finalised squad shows as many as eight uncapped players.

With certain players absent through injury, and others unavailable for reasons undisclosed, it is an opportunity for some unheralded players to make an impression.

Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Matt Doherty (Wolves), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers) and Enda Stevens (Sheffield United) will all be hopeful that this trip will signal a maiden international appearance.

Although much is known about some of those selected, and not so much about others, it is the position of goalkeeper that may throw up much of the intrigue for the Turkey trip.

With Kieran Westwood and Rob Elliot absent through injury, and Darren Randolph not making the trip, Manchester United's Kieran O'Hara and Ross County's Aaron McCarey are potentially in line for a cap.

While O'Neill may vouch for the relatively more experienced Colin Doyle (the Bradford City man has one cap to his name), in O'Hara (21) and McCarey (26), O'Neill has two players with plenty of underage international experience.

Advertisement

Kieran O'Hara, born in Manchester and a product of Manchester United's youth academy, qualifies for the Irish setup through his paternal grandparents. Although he has appeared within the senior squad, O'Hara's experience has largely been limited to reserve action and a series of loans elsewhere.

Learning from the likes of Edwin van der Sar and David De Gea, O'Hara will be hopeful that sooner or later - be it with United, or more likely elsewhere - he can find regular first-team action.

Aaron McCarey has appeared for Ireland at U-17, U-18, U-19 and U-21 level. From Monaghan, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man has found it difficult to find a permanent home with any club.

Currently representing Ross County in the Scottish Premiership, he has had loan spells with clubs as varied as AFC Telford and Portsmouth. Doubtful that he will have a long-term future in Martin O'Neill's plans, he will be nonetheless hopeful that a cherished international cap may come his way.

The squad as a whole is as follows.

Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Aaron McCarey (Ross County)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), David Meyler (Hull City), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)

Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End)

See Also: Richard Dunne Isn't One Bit 'Bothered' If Martin O'Neill Stays Or Goes

Arthur James O'Dea

You may also like