No surprises in Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland squad

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill was named Republic of Ireland manager on 5 November last year

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill sprang no surprises when he named a provisional 36-man squad for his first competitive game in charge.

The initial party will be whittled down for the Euro 2016 qualifying opener in Georgia on 7 September, after a friendly against Oman on 3 September.

"We are well prepared as we embark on the start of a campaign," said O'Neill.

"Oman will provide a good test to start our trip before we travel to Tbilisi. We're focused on the task in hand."

There are no uncapped players in O'Neill's latest squad, but he will be without veteran defender Richard Dunne, who announced his retirement from international football during the summer.

The party includes former first-choice goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, who has returned to club action after joining Sheffield Wednesday following his release by Sunderland at the end of the last campaign.

Robbie Keane will remain Ireland's captain
Robbie Keane will remain Ireland's captain

O'Neill has confirmed that Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane will remain his captain.

The Republic, who failed to qualify for last summer's World Cup finals when they finished fourth in their group behind Germany, Sweden and Austria, have been handed a tough challenge once again this time around.

They have been drawn into Group D with new world champions Germany, Scotland, Poland, Georgia and Gibraltar.

The Irish made it to the finals of the last European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in 2012, but lost all three group games as they embarked upon a downward spiral which ultimately cost then manager Giovanni Trapattoni his job.

O'Neill, assisted by Roy Keane, took over in November last year and his seven friendly matches to date have yielded one win, three draws and three defeats.

However, the manager deliberately chose challenging opposition - Turkey, Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal - for their end-of-season programme.

Republic of Ireland squad: David Forde (Millwall), Keiren Westwood, (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph (Birmingham), Rob Elliot (Sunderland, Richard Keogh (Derby), Marc Wilson (Stoke), Seamus Coleman (Everton), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce, Stephen Kelly (both Reading), Paul McShane (Hull), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace), Joey O'Brien (West Ham), Shane Duffy, James McCarthy (both Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Stephen Ward (Burnley), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Darron Gibson (Everton), Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest), Aiden McGeady (Everton), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), James McClean (Wigan), Robbie Brady, Stephen Quinn, David Meyler (all Hull), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich), Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Jon Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), Simon Cox (Reading), Conor Sammon (Ipswich).

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