Republic of Ireland: Martin O'Neill signs deal until end of campaign

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill guided the Republic of Ireland to the last 16 at Euro 2016

Martin O'Neill has signed a new deal to continue as manager of the Republic of Ireland.

The Football Association of Ireland had previously indicated that they had come to a verbal agreement with O'Neill to remain for the World Cup qualifiers.

O'Neill's backroom staff, including assistant Roy Keane, are also staying.

Barnsley midfielder Conor Hourihane and Falkirk goalkeeper Danny Rogers have been named in a 33-man squad for the qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova.

The Republic host Georgia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Thursday 6 October, followed by an away game with Moldova in Chisinau three days later.

O'Neill's side earned a point away to Serbia in their opening Group D match earlier this month.

Hourihane, who captains his club, is included in the senior squad for the first time, having made an impressive start to the season.

The 25-year-old has previously represented Ireland at youth level and was named Championship Player of the Month for August.

Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane led his club to promotion to the Championship through the play-offs
Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane led his club to promotion to the Championship through the play-offs

Former Under-21 international Rogers, on loan at Falkirk from Aberdeen, is the only other new face in the squad for the qualification double-header.

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy is available after serving a suspension, while Kevin Doyle is recalled to the provisional squad following the retirement of Robbie Keane from international football.

Birmingham midfielder Stephen Gleeson, Cardiff's Anthony Pilkington and Aberdeen's Jonathan Hayes also earn recalls.

O'Neill is monitoring the fitness of Everton midfielder James McCarthy, who is recovering from groin surgery.

Despite assurances from the FAI in the run-up to the Euro 2016 finals that O'Neill would remain for the 2018 World Cup qualifying series, doubts persisted until Friday morning's confirmation by the manager at a press conference, held to announce his squad.

"I have signed a new deal," he said. "It was never an issue. Roy and the backroom staff have followed suit. We're delighted."

The former Northern Ireland international's backroom team includes Keane, Steve Guppy, Seamus McDonagh and Steve Walford.

Republic of Ireland squad: Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Danny Rogers (Falkirk),

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce (all Derby), Paul McShane (Reading), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Shane Duffy (Brighton), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle), Marc Wilson (Bournemouth), Stephen Ward (Burnley).

Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Preston), James McClean (West Brom), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Stephen Quinn (Reading), David Meyler (Hull), Conor Hourihane (Barnsley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O'Kane (Leeds), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham), Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City), Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan (both Norwich), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen).

Strikers: Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Newcastle), Jonathan Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids).

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