Ireland news

McCarthy out of Ireland squad

Wigan youngster withdraws as father is diagnosed with cancer

ESPN staff
James McCarthy was born in Glasgow, Scotland© Getty Images

Wigan's James McCarthy has not been included in Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland squad for Euro 2012, but Sunderland starlet James McClean has been selected.

McCarthy, 21, asked to be withdrawn from consideration for selection for the finals in Poland and Ukraine after his father was diagnosed with cancer.

In a statement issued by the Football Association of Ireland, McCarthy said: "I have made the very difficult decision to withdraw my name from selection from the Euro 2012 squad following the diagnosis of my father with cancer and an ongoing requirement for treatment.

"I have discussed this with the manager. He was very understanding and I thank him sincerely for that.

"I take this opportunity to re-affirm my complete commitment to playing for the Republic of Ireland. It is a huge honour and source of great pride for me and my family.

"Despite not being present, I would like to wish the manager and my team-mates every success at the tournament and hope that Irish fans can understand the reason for my decision at this difficult time.''

Trapattoni expressed his sympathy for McCarthy and his family and promised the player he will remain in his long-term plans.

He said: "Last week, he called me and told me what had happened with his family, and I told him, 'I am sorry, I am very, very sorry'.

"But he has decided to remain at home because he has a very heavy duty for his parents.

"I told him immediately that we would continue to follow him and that he will be in our plans for the future. He said, 'Thanks for this'."

Trapattoni revealed he had talked to McCarthy about the possibility of finding a way to still take him to the tournament, but admitted he was not ready psychologically to make the trip to Poland and Ukraine.

"It's difficult to try to convince him - he is 21 years old. I tried, but he said he was sad, he was not confident about this situation.

"I have to have respect for this. I said 'Okay, you will be with us in the next campaign'."


McClean, 23, was called up by Trapattoni despite having won just one senior cap as a substitute after a remarkable six months for his club.

The former Derry City player has only a few minutes of senior international experience to his name after appearing as a substitute in Ireland's February friendly against the Czech Republic.

"We have followed him. I have asked also the senior players, like [John] O'Shea and he said 'He's not bad. he's good'," said Trappatoni of McClean.

"He has enough good personality, although he is young. He is strong, physically strong and he has improved also.

"Since his first game, I have only seen him get stronger. In one of his last games, he also scored a free-kick and he has grown his personality.

"I think he can give us energy and his quality. In 10 days, we have three games and we need players who are options for maybe [Damien] Duff or [Aiden] McGeady, and maybe in the second or the third game, they can be important.

"That's what he can give us, that's important. He has time also in the future to gain more confidence. That's important - more personality - that is important."

McClean was thrilled by the news, which was delivered in a phone call from Trapattoni.

He tweeted: "Absolutely honoured and couldn't be happier to have been called up to represent my country at the Euros. No better feeling."

Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David Forde (Millwall).

Defenders: John O'Shea (Sunderland), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Stephen Ward (Wolves), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Sean St Ledger (Leicester), Darren O'Dea (Leeds), Kevin Foley (Wolves).

Midfielders: Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Keith Fahey (Birmingham), Darron Gibson (Everton), Damien Duff (Fulham), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), James McClean (Sunderland).

Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Shane Long, Simon Cox (both West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke).

Stand-by: Darren Randolph (Motherwell), Paul McShane (Crystal Palace), Paul Green (Derby), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Andy Keogh (Millwall).


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