Full-back Kevin Foley left out of Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 squad

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 

 

 

Foley- who can also operate in midfield- has made eight caps for Republic of Ireland since his debut in May 2009 against Nigeria


 

Kevin Foley will not be travelling to Euro 2012 in Poland & Ukraine next month after his place in the 23-man squad for the Republic of Ireland was given to defender Paul McShane.

It was initially believed that the Wolverhampton Wanderers defender had failed to recover sufficiently from a hamstring injury sustained whilst training for his club towards the end of the Premier League although the 27-year old did feature as a second half substitute in Tuesday night's friendly against a Tuscan Select XI in Rome, Italy.

With experienced defenders Richard Dunne and John O'Shea remaining significant injury concerns, Crystal Palace's Paul McShane has been selected ahead of Foley- relegated from the Premier League with the Molineux club last month- because of his versatility whereby he can play at right-back and centre-back.

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni said: "We thought very hard about what was the best and most appropriate decision. We based our decision on the fact the centre-halves - Richard Dunne, John O'Shea and Darren O'Dea - all have problems. We are not sure if they will be 100%. McShane did a careful medical check and we decided to include him in the 23. The reason behind this is we need one more central defender and we know they are more subject to bookings. I spoke to Kevin this morning and with regret, I communicated my decision to him. Obviously, he was clearly upset. Also me. But I have a responsibility to our team and the Irish nation. It's my duty to take this decision disregarding personal feeling."

The change involving Foley and McShane is the second in three days that the Irish have been forced into making after midfielder Paul Green took the place of the injured Birmingham City player Keith Fahey at the weekend.

Though Trapattoni has offered Foley the opportunity to remain with the squad, the player was evidently filled with distraught when he was captured on camera in a nearby park to the team's hotel in the Italian capital ahead of Tuesday night's friendly feeling he has been "betrayed" and "let down" by his country.

Foley was named among the substitutes along with David Forde, Aiden McGeady, Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Jon Walters, Darron Gibson and Stephen Ward for Tuesday's match which his team won 5-0. Sunderland defender O'Shea wasn't selected in the squad for the friendly match as the former Manchester United veteran recouperates from an ankle problem. The 32-year old will have another opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of Euro 2012 in next Monday's friendly against Hungary in Budapest.  

 

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