Long the big worry as Trapattoni reveals Ireland squad
Friday, March 08, 2013
Shane Long is the latest injury worry for Giovanni Trapattoni, as the Ireland manager prepares to announce his squad this lunchtime for the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.
By Liam Mackey
West Brom manager Steve Clarke fully expects the striker to be named in the Irish panel but appears resigned to losing him for tomorrow’s game against Swansea City.
Long has aggravated an ankle injury which he originally sustained in the game against Sunderland on February 23. And although the Tipperary man was able to play against Chelsea last weekend, he has now suffered a fresh setback.
“I am sure he will be selected for the Irish squad and I am ever the optimist,” said Clarke.
“Shane was able to play at Chelsea but the unfortunate thing for us is that he has aggravated it again. He trained Monday and Tuesday this week but has not trained since, so he is going to be doubtful for Swansea.”
In brief comments ahead of today’s official squad announcement, Trapattoni yesterday confirmed that, as was fully expected, long-term injury absentee Richard Dunne will definitely miss out on the upcoming qualifiers.
There are also major doubts about Keith Andrews’ inclusion in the squad given that, despite making good progress with a torn thigh muscle, the Bolton midfielder has recently suffered what appears to be a serious flare-up of a recurring Achilles problem.
Better news for the Ireland manager is that both Everton’s Seamus Coleman and Stoke City’s Marc Wilson are once more fit enough to be named in the squad.
The media at FAI headquarters today will also be seeking clarity on the status of Coleman’s Everton team-mate Darron Gibson. Both Trapattoni and Everton boss David Moyes recently hinted the midfielder is ready to end his self-imposed international exile, a development which, if confirmed, would have added significance in the event of Andrews missing out.
Trapattoni will also be expected to field questions on the war of words between himself and Reading defender Stephen Kelly which erupted in the wake of last month’s friendly against Poland.
Meanwhile, the FAI have announced that Georgia will provide the opposition for Ireland in a friendly at Aviva Stadium on Sunday, June 2, kick-off 5.30pm.
Tipperary native Brian Lonergan fulfilled a long-standing ambition when his tricolour appeared on live TV during Sunday's NFL clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park.
Ronan O'Gara says Racing Metro will have to take a leaf out of Munster's book if they are to rescue their faltering hopes of reaching the Heineken Cup quarter-finals for the first time after being hammered 32-8 by Harlequins at the weekend.
IRFU chiefs fear any boycott of the Heineken Cup or a similar European competition by English and/or French clubs could result in a €12m hit and place the union and the four provinces in a perilous financial position.
The Department of Education has been criticised by Children's Ombudsman Emily Logan over enrolment appeals and home tuition after a teenager missed nearly two years of full-time education when up to 30 schools refused him a place.
SINGER PAUL CLEARY doesn't have butterflies — yet. But he will. "I'm not a confident performer," say Cleary, frontman of iconic Dublin post-punk trio, The Blades. "The 20 minutes before I go on are particularly nerve-wracking. You can't function properly. You are sitting in the dressing room, not talking. You just want to get out there, on stage."
Supported by the Arts Council, Cork City Council, and the Firkin Crane, Laura Murphy is Cork's Dancer in Residence at Firkin Crane for 2013/2014. Originally from Kinsale, this highly-qualified dance artist, performer and choreographer is bubbling over with ideas.
Contrary to the minority, it was indeed a year of progress for the Cork hurlers; a first championship victory over Kilkenny since 2004, the unearthing of new talent in Séamus Harnedy and an end to their seven-year absence from the September showpiece.