Sunderland players Gary Breen and Kevin Kilbane have been included in Brian Kerr’s Republic of Ireland squad to face Australia in a friendly at Lansdowne Road on 19th August – but there’s no room for new SAFC skipper, Jason McAteer.
Perversely, although Mick McCarthy has said he won’t risk Breen for this weekend’s opener against Nottingham Forest because of his lack of match fitness, Kerr has left McAteer out of the RoI squad for the same reason – despite McAteer having taken an active part in Sunderland’s pre-season programme.
Kerr said today, “Jason hasn’t played that many games in the last season. I think I saw his last game which was against Fulham but he’s been struggling with injuries. But Jason is a good player and we all know he’s scored some vital goals and he’s certainly not out of my plans.”
Also included in the RoI squad is Colin Healy who passed a medical and agreed personal terms with Sunderland this week, the final transfer only being held up by the need for clarification of whether or not his current club, Celtic, will be due for compensation.
“Colin needs to find a club soon and I’m sure it will be sorted out shortly”, said Kerr. “But like Gary, he did well for us last season despite not playing much first team football. They’ve both kept themselves fit.”
Squad for Ireland v Australia on 19.8.03: Given (Newcastle United), Colgan (Hibernian), Murphy (West Bromwich Albion), O’Shea (Manchester United), Carr (Tottenham Hotspur), Cunningham (Birmingham City), Breen (Sunderland), O’Brien (Newcastle United), Harte (Leeds United), Dunne (Manchester City), Finnan (Liverpool), Carsley (Everton), Healy (Unattached), Holland (Charlton Athletic), Kinsella (Aston Villa), Kilbane (Sunderland), Reid (Blackburn Rovers), Quinn (Sheffield Wednesday), Duff (Chelsea), Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Keane (Tottenham Hotspur), Morrison (Birmingham City), Connolly (West Ham United).
Australia squad: Aloisi (Osasuna), Bresciano (Parma), Cahill (Millwall), Chipperfield (Basel), Emerton (Blackburn Rovers), Foxe (Portsmouth), Grella (Empoli), Kalac (Perugia), Kewell (Liverpool), Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Moore (Rangers), Muscat (Rangers), Neill (Blackburn Rovers), Okon (Leeds United), Popovic (Crystal Palace), Schwarzer (Middlesbrough), Skoko (Genclerbirligi), Tiatto (Manchester City), Vidmar (Cardiff City), Viduka (Leeds United).