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European Qualifiers Group D

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European Qualifiers Group D

Pilkington earns Ireland call

Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad to face Poland in their international friendly on February 6 in Dublin.

Last Updated: 21/01/13 at 16:57 Post Comment

Anthony Pilkington: Norwich City midfielder handed Republic of Ireland call

Anthony Pilkington: Norwich City midfielder handed Republic of Ireland call

Pilkington earns his first senior call-up after impressing in the Premier League this season, while West Ham keeper Stephen Henderson and Derby trio Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon will also hope to win their first caps.

Captain Robbie Keane and Reading defender Stephen Kelly have been left out as the Irish face Poland in their last game ahead of a crucial double-header away to Sweden and at home to Austria on 22 and 26 March.

Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne has been placed on the stand-by list and his progress will be monitored before a decision will be made on his inclusion in the squad.

Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni, who was forced to cancel his press conference in Dublin following the death of his sister, said: "I have decided to use this friendly game as an opportunity to work with younger players to see their potential.

"As a result, I have given senior players like Robbie Keane and Stephen Kelly a break for this fixture.

"We saw a number of strong performances from our younger players in the second half of last year and we intend to build from those strong foundations, using this friendly match to introduce more new talent like Pilkington, Hendrick, Sammon and (Richard) Keogh.

"I look forward to working with these players, and seeing what they have to offer."

Squad: Westwood, Forde, Henderson, O'Shea, Clark, O'Dea, McShane, Coleman, Keogh, Cunningham, Ward, Pilkington, McClean, Brady, McGeady, Whelan, McCarthy, Hendrick, Meyler, Hoolahan, Cox, Long, Walters, Sammon, Keogh, Doyle.

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