McCarthy callsup Gavin forFinland's visit

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The Independent Online

The Middlesbrough central defender Jason Gavin is the only uncapped player in the 22-man Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly international against Finland at Lansdowne Road on 15 November.

The Middlesbrough central defender Jason Gavin is the only uncapped player in the 22-man Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly international against Finland at Lansdowne Road on 15 November.

The 22-year-old Gavin, who has played four times for his country at Under-21 level, has made five Premiership appearances for Boro this season.

The Republic manager, Mick McCarthy, is hoping to field the same line-up as in the World Cup qualifiers against the Netherlands, Portugal and Estonia. "It would be nice if I was able to start with the same team again," he said. "But with so many league and European fixtures on the horizon, nothing can be guaranteed because of the possibility of injuries."

The Irish drew 2-2 with the Dutch in Amsterdam and 1-1 with Portugal in Lisbon before recording a 2-0 victory over Estonia in Dublin last month.

Recalled to the squad after missing the Portugal and Estonia games are Shay Given, Gary Kelly and Lee Carsley. Nick Colgan, Graham Kavanagh and Curtis Fleming are left out while Damien Duff is unavailable because of a hamstring injury.

The Manchester City winger Mark Kennedy and the Sporting Lisbon defender Phil Babb were again not considered for selection. Both are due a court appearance just 48 hours before the Finland game, arising out of incidents in a Dublin street prior to the match with the Netherlands in September.

The West Ham manager, Harry Redknapp, is to sign the Norwegian central defender Ragnvald Soma in a £1m deal. He will join the Hammers over the weekend despite a late bid by Anderlecht for his signature.

Soma, a left-sided defender, plays for the Norwegian club Bryne, is a regular Under-21 international and impressed in a West Ham reserve-team trial last week. His arrival at Upton Park, along with the signing of the Australian Hayden Foxe, has increased speculation that Rio Ferdinand will finally be sold to Leeds United in a £15m deal.

The American goalkeeper Brad Friedel was granted a work permit yesterday, which clears the way for his move from Liverpool to Blackburn Rovers. Friedel had previously been refused a work permit by the Department of Education and Employment because he had not played enough matches for the United States.

The Charlton Athletic manager, Alan Curbishley, has solved his goalkeeping worries by taking Tony Caig on loan from Blackpool. The Londoners were left with just their first-choice goalkeeper Dean Kiely for today's visit of Bradford City after their Yugoslav international Sasa Ilic damaged his ribs in a midweek reserve game. Ben Roberts, a summer signing from Middlesbrough, is also out injured.

Caig, who played under the Charlton first-team coach, Mervyn Day, at Carlisle United, will be on the substitutes' bench today after signing for a month.

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