Euro 2016 squads Group E : Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Martin O’Neill’s side are more positive than they were towards the end of Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign, and the new coach has used the attacking Robbie Brady as a left-back in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

STRENGTHS

This is an extremely hard-working side (think Jon Walters) and Shane Long’s speed and aerial power up front will trouble most defences.

WEAKNESSES

O’Neill’s biggest problem is in central defence, where Richard Keogh could start with John O’Shea.

Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Stoke), Darren Randolph (West Ham), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Richard Keogh (Derby), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Shane Duffy (Blackburn), Stephen Ward (Burnley)

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Everton), James McClean (West Brom), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), David Meyler (Hull), Stephen Quinn (Reading), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Robbie Brady (Norwich), Jonathan Walters (Stoke)

Forwards: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich)

Republic of Ireland midfieldersAiden McGeady
  • Club Sheffield Wednesday
  • Age 30
  • Caps 81
  • Goals 5
Glasgow-born winger, who worked under Martin O’Neill at Celtic, he fell from favour at Everton this season and moved on loan to Sheffield Wednesday in February, in order to gain regular minutes. Scored both goals in the 2-1 qualifying win in Georgia, including a 90th minute winner.
David Meyler
  • Club Hull City
  • Age 27
  • Caps 14
  • Goals 0
Ultra-competitive midfielder, who has overcome serious injury problems, he can also provide an option for Martin O’Neill at right-back. The son of the hurling manager, John Meyler, he played hurling and Gaelic football as a boy.
Glenn Whelan Unsung hero
  • Club Stoke City
  • Age 32
  • Caps 71
  • Goals 2
Tough tackler, who screens the back four and organises the team, the Stoke City midfielder has been a regular since Giovanni Trapattoni called him into his first squad in May 2008. Worked his way back up the divisions after leaving his first club, Manchester City.
James McCarthy
  • Club Everton
  • Age 25
  • Caps 35
  • Goals 0
Born and raised in Glasgow, his decision to declare for Ireland – the country of his grandfather’s birth – as a 16-year-old created a storm in Scotland. Made his professional debut at 15 for Hamilton Academical, the box-to-box midfielder is regarded as one of Ireland’s biggest talents.
James McClean
  • Club West Bromwich Albion
  • Age 27
  • Caps 39
  • Goals 5
The Derry-born winger represented Northern Ireland at under-21 level before he declared for the Republic. Given his Premier League debut by Martin O’Neill at Sunderland, he is quick and loves to run at defenders.
Jeff Hendrick
  • Club Derby County
  • Age 24
  • Caps 21
  • Goals 0
Emerged at St Kevin’s Boys in Dublin, where he played alongside Robbie Brady from the age of six, the energetic midfielder crossed to Derby County as a trainee and he has made his mark there. Provided crucial assists in the 1-1 qualifying draw in Germany and the 1-0 home win over Georgia.
Stephen Quinn
  • Club Reading
  • Age 30
  • Caps 14
  • Goals 0
It was a measure of the faith that Martin O’Neill has in him that the Reading midfielder started in the opening two away qualifiers against Georgia and Germany. Industrious and aggressive, with a cultured left foot.
Wes Hoolahan
  • Club Norwich City
  • Age 34
  • Caps 30
  • Goals 2
The Irish Messi, or Wessi, is the team’s string-puller, who is normally given a roving role. A late bloomer, the Norwich City midfielder did not play 90 minutes for Ireland until he was 31. Martin O’Neill believes that he has plenty of international football ahead of him.
Republic of Ireland defendersCiaran Clark
  • Club Aston Villa
  • Age 26
  • Caps 18
  • Goals 2
Represented England at under-17 to under-20 level, the Essex-born central defender declared for Ireland in 2010 and was immediately called up by Giovanni Trapattoni. A product of the Aston Villa academy, he made his debut for the club at 19 and has remained a one-club man.
Cyrus Christie
  • Club Derby County
  • Age 23
  • Caps 4
  • Goals 1
A right-back who loves to get forward, his performance in the 1-0 win over Germany in qualification was the stuff that cult heroes are made of. Scored in the away win over Gibraltar. The back-up to Seamus Coleman.
John O’Shea
  • Club Sunderland
  • Age 35
  • Caps 111
  • Goals 3
Known for his versatility – he played in every position during his time at Manchester United, including in goal – the Sunderland man has offered composure in central defence for Martin O’Neill. Won everything at United and is richly experienced. Marked his 100th cap with the 90thminute equaliser against Germany in Gelsenkirchen during qualification.
Richard Keogh
  • Club Derby County
  • Age 29
  • Caps 11
  • Goals 1
Much-travelled centre-half, he owes his senior international career to the durability, consistency and leadership he has shown as captain of Derby County. Martin O’Neill has placed his faith in him and started him alongside Ciaran Clark in both legs of the qualification play-off victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Robbie Brady
  • Club Norwich City
  • Age 24
  • Caps 24
  • Goals 4
Nominally a winger, who can also play as a No10, he has been used to good effect at left-back by Martin O’Neill. Admitted that he lacked focus when he was a trainee at Manchester United, Brady has gone on to show his quality at Hull City and now Norwich City.
Seamus Coleman Defensive mainstay
  • Club Everton
  • Age 27
  • Caps 34
  • Goals 0
One of the first names on Martin O’Neill’s team-sheet, the Everton right-back, who was originally a Gaelic footballer, combines defensive tightness with the capacity to get forward and create. Named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year in 2013-14.
Stephen Ward
  • Club Burnley
  • Age 30
  • Caps 32
  • Goals 2
A fixture at left-back during the Euro 2012 campaign, who started at the finals, he dropped out of contention before being recalled by Martin O’Neill. Can play in more advanced positions. Was a striker at Bohemians early on in his career.
Shane Duffy
  • Club Blackburn Rovers
  • Age 24
  • Caps 2
  • Goals 0
The centre-half played for Northern Ireland at youth level and was an unused substitute in their senior team as a 17-year-old before he switched his allegiance. Had life-saving surgery on a liver problem in 2010, after a freak practice match injury. Has developed at Blackburn Rovers, after struggling for opportunity at Everton.
Republic of Ireland forwardsDaryl Murphy
  • Club Ipswich Town
  • Age 33
  • Caps 20
  • Goals 0
Can play on the left, and has done so many times, but he is much happier as a No 9. His career has been stop-start, with a lot of moves but he has settled at Ipswich Town. Was the top scorer in the Championship in 2014-15 with 27 goals.
Jon Walters Hard man
  • Club Stoke City
  • Age 32
  • Caps 39
  • Goals 10
One of the heroes of the qualification with five goals, including both in the 2-0 play-off, second-leg home win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was decisive. Direct, physical and relentless, his style ruffles defenders’ feathers.
Robbie Keane Captain
  • Club Los Angeles Galaxy
  • Age 35
  • Caps 143
  • Goals 67
The captain, record caps holder and record goalscorer, he might no longer be an automatic starter but his value to the squad remains high. Scored five times during qualification, albeit all of them against Gibraltar. A potential game-changer from the bench.
Shane Long Main goalscorer
  • Club Southampton
  • Age 29
  • Caps 62
  • Goals 16
His winning goal in the 1-0 home win over Germany during qualification will live long in the memory and was, in many respects, the touchstone of the Martin O’Neill era. The one-time hurler for Tipperary brings aerial power and the pace to stretch defences.
Republic of Ireland goalkeepersDarren Randolph No1 goalkeeper
  • Club West Ham United
  • Age 29
  • Caps 9
  • Goals 0
He was brought on – surprisingly, ahead of David Forde – when Shay Given was injured in the 1-0 home win over Germany during qualification and he has not since looked back. The back-up to Adrian at West Ham United, playing mainly in the cups, he has established himself as his country’s No1.
Shay Given
  • Club Stoke City
  • Age 40
  • Caps 133
  • Goals 0
First capped in 1996, the veteran announced his retirement after Euro 2012 only to make a surprise return in September 2014. He was in possession of the No1 jersey until an injury against Germany in last October’s home qualifier. Has endured a frustrating season at Stoke City.
Keiren Westwood
  • Club Sheffield Wednesday
  • Age 31
  • Caps 18
  • Goals 0
Manchester-born, he started his career at City but never played for them. Has been with Sheffield Wednesday since 2014 after three years at Sunderland. Became Ireland’s No1 after the retirement of Shay Given but then lost his place first to David Forde, who has since been replaced by Darren Randolph.

Profiles written by David Hytner