Strong Ireland team will face Australia

Strong Ireland team will face Australia

Coventry City striker Leon Best is the only injury doubt ...
10th Aug 2009


Coventry City striker Leon Best is the only injury doubt for the Republic of Ireland ahead of the friendly match against Australia at Thomond Park this Wednesday (7.30pm).


The 23 other members of the squad selected by manager Giovanni Trapattoni have assembled at the team base and trained this morning (Monday) at Cooke Park in Tipperary Town.


A huge crowd came along to Sunday's open squad training session at the home of St. Michael's FC and a similar turnout was in attendance when the panel were put through their paces today.


Ireland Assistant manager Liam Brady addressed the media after the training session and admitted the Limerick public can expect to see a full-strength team take the field on Wednesday.


He said: "This is a hugely important game because we're still in with a big chance of qualifying for the World Cup next year and this is preparation for the Cyprus game which will be upon us in three weeks' time.


"It's a great chance to try the team that will play against Cyprus and that's the way the manager has been speaking in the last few days.


"We're going to have a team that will largely be the side that faces Cyprus and we all know how crucial that match is."


In that respect, Brady expressed his delight that the original squad picked has not been decimated by withdrawals.


"It looks very good - touch wood," he said referring to the compliment of players available," he said. 


"It's the first time we've had very few cry-offs. Leon Best is a doubt; he's having an examination at Coventry today (on a foot injury) and they're going to let us know if he's available but I have to say it's doubtful. We've still got 23 players all happy to be here."


One player who looked unlikely to feature this week was striker Kevin Doyle, who underwent surgery on a hernia over the summer.


Brady explained the reason for Doyle's surprise presence. "Mick McCarthy threw us a dummy last week when he told me to tell the manager Kevin wouldn't be coming over because he'd picked up a little infection in the wound after the operation.


"But he rang me again on Saturday to say Kevin would be playing a half hour in a friendly that day and therefore he can have 45 minutes with us.


"I think the move to Wolves will do Kevin the power of good. He'll be back to his best and we're going to need him for the next three World Cup qualifying matches."