Euro 2012 betting outsiders Republic of Ireland have named Sunderland winger James McClean in their squad for the tournament.
The former Derry City flier has been impressive in his breakthrough season with the Black Cats and was handed his international debut as a substitute in February’s 1-1 draw with Czech Republic.
McClean clearly did enough to impress boss Giovanni Trapattoni as the Italian has included him in his 23-man squad for the showpiece event in Poland and Ukraine this summer.
One man who will not be on the plane is Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, who has declared himself unavailable for selection after his father was diagnosed with cancer.
“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,” said McCarthy.
“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.”
Elsewhere, there are no real surprises in Trapattoni’s squad, although Everton’s Seamus Coleman will probably consider himself unfortunate to be on the Italian’s stand-by list.
Ireland are priced at a whopping 80/1 to win Euro 2012, while they can be backed at odds of 9/2 to escape from a tough group featuring holders Spain, Italy and Croatia.
Punters registering with bwin can claim a free £25 bet and placing this on Ireland to reach the quarter-finals would return £137.50 if Trapattoni can somehow mastermind a run to the last eight.
Republic of Ireland Euro 2012 squad:
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)
Strikers: 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 (Unattached), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Andy Keogh (Millwall).
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