GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI ANNOUNCED his squad for Ireland’s opening World Cup 2014 qualifier with Kazakhstan today and the big news was Damien Duff’s omission.
The 33-year-old winger, who earned his 100th cap against Italy at Euro 2012, is hanging up his international boots after 13 years with the senior set-up.
At a press conference this afternoon, Trapattoni revealed that Duff broke the news to him via text before the pair had a conversation over the phone to clarify the situation.
“After the Euros, I said to him, Robbie (Keane) and Richard Dunne that we will leave them at home for the friendly game in August and they said with no problem.
“But last week Damien sent me an SMS saying ‘Giovanni, I’m sorry but I wish to inform you about leaving the national team because it is the time I finish this career’.”
I said thank you for all you did with us and we will be always in touch. Damien is not only a great player but a great man also.”
On the FAI website, Duff said: “It has always been a source of immense pride for me to represent my country. I found it very difficult to make this decision, not least for the respect in which I hold Giovanni Trapattoni.
“I have enjoyed so many good times in the green jersey and want to thank everyone involved, especially the fans for making the last 14 years so special.
“I want to wish Giovanni, Marco and everyone involved with the Irish team every success for the future and will be supporting them every step of the way.”
After goalkeeper Shay Given, the Fulham winger is the second Irish player to retire in recent weeks and there were question marks about whether captain Robbie Keane and influential defender Richard Dunne would follow suit.
However, Trap believes that Keane will feature in the upcoming campaign and is confident of persuading Dunne, who is currently injured, to stay on when he travels to England to meet him over the weekend.
Elsewhere, there are places for Stoke defender Marc Wilson and Millwall’s Andy Keogh but Norwich pair Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington are overlooked.
With Keith Andrews suspended, Keith Fahey still sidelined and Paul Green picking up a knee injury last weekend, James McCarthy is likely to play in midfield when Ireland travel to Kazakhstan for the September 7 fixture.
Joey O’Brien, who returned from a four year exile in the recent Serbia friendly, keep his spot.
Republic of Ireland (v Kazakhstan): Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Whelan, Gibson, McCarthy, Coleman, O’Brien, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.