Kevin Foley felt “betrayed” by Giovanni Trapattoni’s decision to leave him out of the Ireland squad for Euro 2012.
The 27-year-old defender was stunned to discover that he will not be going to Poland and Ukraine after manager Giovanni Trapattoni opted not to name him in his final 23 for the tournament yesterday.
Foley said: “It is hard to take, you know. I sort of feel betrayed. I don’t want to go into too much detail. I just feel betrayed.”
Trapattoni dropped his bombshell shortly before the final 23 names had to be submitted to UEFA yesterday lunchtime.
Foley, who was among the initial squad announced on May 7, was replaced by Paul McShane, who had been on stand-by before being drafted into the party as defensive cover last week.
The Wolves full-back has spent the last week or so working his way back to fitness after a hamstring problem, but although he trained with his team-mates on Monday in Borgo A Buggiano, Trapattoni decided injury concerns over John O’Shea and Darren O’Dea made McShane a better option as he can play at both right-back and in central defence.
Foley said: “I wanted to prove a point, that I was fit to play because from what I understood, I could have trained last week, Thursday, Friday and been involved in the game [against Bosnia on Saturday].
“He (Trapattoni) said there was no rush and we will wait to train in Italy, so I trained for two days in Italy and felt great. And then all of a sudden, he pulls me this morning just before the end and says, ’You are not in the squad’, and that is hard to take.
“I have done everything I can. That is all I can do. Words can’t really describe it. It was tough. The lads have been great, but what happened happened, there’s nothing I can do about it now. I hope the lads go on and do as well as they can from the tournament.”
Trapattoni admitted after last night’s 5-0 friendly victory over a Tuscan Select XI, in which Foley appeared as a half-time substitute, that the decision to exclude him had been an intensely difficult one.
He invited the player to remain with the squad, which heads for Hungary on Sunday and then Poland two days later.
However, Foley said: “I go home tomorrow. I don’t want to talk about that. It’s a lot to take in.”