Charlton makes Kennedy wait

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The Independent Online
Mark Kennedy's £2m price tag has failed to impress the Republic of Ireland manager, Jack Charlton, who yesterday named a squad of 25 for the crucial European Championship qualifier against Portugal at Lansdowne Road on 26 April which did not include the Liverpool winger Kennedy, bought from First Division Millwall last month.

Kennedy has won Under-21 caps against England and Latvia and will remain at that level for the time being, having so far played only 18 minutes for his new club, against Leeds on Sunday. Charlton's selection is virtually the same as for last month's 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland which left the Republic trailing the Group Six leaders, Portugal, by two points.

Manchester United's Roy Keane, if selected, will be making his last international appearance of the season - he is scheduled to enter hospital in late May for a hernia operation, which will rule him out of the June games away to Liechtenstein and at home to Austria.

There are eight players from Endsleigh League clubs in the squad, and Charlton is unlikely to allow them to play for their clubs on Saturday week, when Sheffield United v Wolves and Tranmere v Southend are among the games likely to be postponed. However, the Wales manager, Mike Smith, is permitting his Endsleigh brigade to turn out on that day.

"There are no Premiership games that weekend, which is a big plus," said Smith, who yesterday named his squad to face Germany in Dsseldorf on 26 April. "At this stage of the season there's no way you can move games without causing problems." The Queen's Park Rangers defender, Karl Ready, is named in the senior squad for the first time; while there are recalls for Adrian Williams and Mark Pembridge.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (European Championship Group Six v Portugal, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, 26 April): A Kelly (Sheffield Utd), Bonner (Celtic); Irwin (Manchester Utd), Phelan (Manchester City), G Kelly (Leeds), Staunton, McGrath (both Aston Villa), Babb (Liverpool), Kernaghan (Manchester City), Daish (Birmingham), Houghton (Crystal Palace), McAteer (Bolton), Kenna (Blackburn), Townsend (Aston Villa), Sheridan (Sheffield Wednesday), Keane (Manchester Utd), McGoldrick (Arsenal), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), D Kelly (Wolves), Quinn (Manchester City), Aldridge, O'Brien (both Tranmere), Coyne (Motherwell), Cascarino (Marseille), Whelan (Southend).

WALES SQUAD (European Championship Group Seven v Germany, Dsseldorf, 26 April): Southall (Everton), T Roberts (Queen's Park Rangers), Freestone (Swansea); Symons (Portsmouth), Coleman (Crystal Palace), Williams (Reading), Bowen (Norwich), Phillips (Nottingham Forest), Ready (QPR), Pembridge (Derby), Horne (Everton), V Jones (Wimbledon), Speed (Leeds), Cornforth (Swansea), Giggs, Hughes (both Manchester Utd), Rush (Liverpool), Saunders (Aston Villa). Stand-by: P Jones (Wolves); Law (Wolves), Young (Crystal Palace), Neilson (Newcastle), Melville (Sunderland), Meaker (QPR), Hartson (Arsenal), I Roberts (Leicester), Blake (Sheffield United).

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