Football: Irish warming up: Babb and McAteer add youth to Charlton's squad

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JACK CHARLTON, the Republic of Ireland manager, yesterday named a 22-man squad for World Cup warm-up games against Bolivia in Dublin on 24 May and Germany in Hanover five days later.

Barring injuries, the same players are likely to carry Irish hopes in the finals in America next month.

There are no real surprises. The three newcomers, Phil Babb, Gary Kelly and Jason McAteer, have earned their passports after impressive performances in recent games against Russia and the Netherlands.

But it looks as though there will be no place for David O'Leary, plagued by injuries since his move from Arsenal to Leeds at the start of the season.

Fifa stressed yesterday that it would not change midday kick-off times in the World Cup finals. Michel D'Hooghe, the head of Fifa's medical committee, and the Dutch coach, Dick Advocaat, had expressed their concern about the heat and humidity.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (Friendly internationals v Bolivia, Dublin, 24 May and v Germany, Hanover, 29 May): Bonner (Celtic), A Kelly (Sheffield United); G Kelly (Leeds), Phelan, Kernaghan (both Manchester City), Irwin, Keane (both Manchester United), Moran (Blackburn), McGrath (Aston Villa), Babb (Coventry), Staunton, Houghton, Townsend (all Aston Villa), McGoldrick (Arsenal), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), Whelan (Liverpool), McAteer (Bolton), Sheridan (Sheffield Wednesday), Aldridge (Tranmere), Coyne (Motherwell), Cascarino (Chelsea), D Kelly (Wolves).