Scouting Report: Travers debut came as no surprise
The Ireland boss was contacted by Sky Sports pundit Alan McInally ahead of the Saturday lunchtime kick-off between Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur at Dean Court.
McCarthy explained: “Alan [McInally] is an old mate of mine and a thorough professional. When he knew Mark [Travers] was going to start the game, Alan rang for my opinion as part of his homework for the game.
“I gave Mark a glowing reference. He was brilliant when he came into the squad for the games against Gibraltar and Georgia in March, on and off the pitch.
“Mark’s attitude around the camp impressed everyone and on the training ground he was different class with the way he trained and applied himself.
“I told Alan I think he’s top class so I wasn’t surprised Mark got the Man of the Match award against Spurs. Mark is only 19 but that’s not a problem for me – I gave Shay Given his debut at 19 and Robbie Keane was first capped at 18.
“Mark more than justified his inclusion in the squad back in March and he will be in Portugal for our training camp in a couple of weeks.”
McCarthy will name his provisional squad on Tuesday, May 7 for the training camp in Portugal and the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers against Denmark, in Copenhagen on June 7, and Gibraltar at Aviva Stadium on June 10.
Midfielder Danny Crowley will not be in the squad – and he didn’t get the chance to make much of an impression on his prospective boss in Sunday’s Dutch Cup final.
Willem II lost 4-0 to Ajax in the Rotterdam decider – and Crowley started the game on the bench.
“It was unfortunate because Danny had played so many games in the Willem midfield all season and the world and his mother expected him to start the game,” added McCarthy.
“If there was any doubt he wouldn’t start then I wouldn’t have travelled. That said, I did enjoy the Ajax performance, the atmosphere was electric and their second goal was something else.”
Set to name a provisional squad in Trim on Tuesday, McCarthy will wait on the English Championship and League One Play-Offs before finalising his final travelling party for the game in Denmark.
“Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan, Richard Keogh, Josh Cullen and Ronan Curtis are all in Play-Off semi-finals with their clubs so we will wait to see how they get on before making a final decision on the squad for Denmark and Gibraltar,” concluded the Ireland manager.