Shay Given is passed fit to start against Nigeria in London

Shay Given is passed fit to start against Nigeria in London

Giovanni Trapattoni today named five new international players in the Republic of Ireland team to play Nigeria at Craven Cottage, London, in a friendly match tomorrow. Shay Given reported fully recovered from a hip injury to play in goal and Coventry City’s Keiren Westwood is expected to bring the number of new internationals to at least six in the course of the match
28th May 2009
Shay Given (Manchester City) today reported fully recovered from the hip injury that interfered with his training recently and he will start tomorrow along with five new internationals when Ireland play Nigeria at Craven Cottage, London.

Kevin Foley (Wolves), Sean St. Ledger (Preston North End), Eddie Nolan (Preston North End), Liam Lawrence (Stoke City) and Leon Best (Coventry City) will all be honoured for the first time as manager Giovanni Trapattoni offers opportunities to Ireland’s younger players to stake a claim to first team status.

Trapattoni also said that he intended to make “four or five” substitutions in the course of the match and one of those will be in goal with Keiren Westwood (Coventry City) in line for his first international appearance.

Said Trapattoni: “It is important to have experienced players in the team alongside the newcomers and that is what this team selection against Nigeria is all about.

“Nigeria will provide us with a difficult match but we are going out to win it as always for it is important to reinforce a winning mentality.

Nigeria will be experienced at international level and this match will be similar to our game against Colombia last year for it will be a good experience for our young players.”

The availability of Given and the need for Trapattoni to give Keiren Westwood some first-team experience with Ireland meant that there was no place in the squad for the game for Dean Kiely, the West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper. He was allowed leave the camp in London and return home.

Said Trapattoni: “This is a big opportunity for the new players. They have been in the squad and have not played so this is an opportunity for them to show what they can do.”

Damien Duff (Newcastle United) and Aiden McGeady (Celtic) will share responsibilities for one of the wing positions with each of them playing half a game. The manager said he had yet to decide which of the two will start.

The team to start against Nigeria will be:

Shay Given (Manchester City);

Kevin Foley (Wolves), Richard Dunne (Manchester City), Sean St. Ledger (Preston North End), Eddie Nolan (Preston North End);

Damien Duff (Newcastle United)/Aiden McGeady (Celtic), Liam Miller (QPR), Keith Andrews (Blackburn Rovers), Liam Lawrence (Stoke City); Robbie Keane (Tottenham Hotspur), Leon Best (Coventry City).