Darren Randolph left out of Ireland squad for friendly against Turkey

Darren Randolph has been left out of Martin O’Neill’s 30-man provisional Republic of Ireland squad to play against Turkey in a friendly on the 23rd of March.

O’Neill named his provisional squad on Thursday for the game against Turkey which will come after a three-day training camp in Antalya.

The away friendly kicks off a busy period for Ireland which will include further friendlies against the United States, France, Poland and Northern Ireland, as well as UEFA Nations League games with Denmark and Wales.

Randolph — the Middlesborough, and Bray-native goalkeeper – is the biggest omission having earned plaudits for his performances during the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers campaign.

Martin O’Neill name-checked Randolph, Stephen Ward and Richard Keogh as players whom he had intended to leave out. He said: “Darren, I was always going to leave out anyway, Kieran (Westwood) and Robbie Elliot have had a few injuries.

“Stephen Ward has just about got over an injury so I’m letting him get on with things and Richard Keogh. Some of them will eventually see their way to retirement but I’m personally indebted to them.”

Randolph has played 36 games in the Championship for Middlesborough since signing for the club in the summer from West Ham United, keeping 14 clean sheets and making 76 saves.

Most recently, he played 90 minutes in Middlesborough’s 1-0 win over Birmingham City on Tuesday which elevated them into the play-off positions.

However, despite this starring role, Randolph will not be travelling with Ireland for the friendly against Turkey as Martin O’Neill has named Rob Elliot, Colin Doyle, Kieran O’Hara and Keiren Westwood in the goalkeeping positions.

Captain Seamus Coleman returns to the squad a year after suffering a broken leg in the World Cup qualifier against Wales, while Greg Cunningham, Alan Judge, and Sean Maguire are also included following long-term injuries.

O’Neill has gone for a youthful set-up, with five new names, a further three uncapped players and just three players over the age of 30. Shane Long is the oldest member of the squad at 31 years of age.

“With the some of the players who have retired – some are considering it – now is the time (to look to younger players),” he said.

“We’ve got a couple of games at the end of the season but this particular match, it is a chance for uncapped players and those who have been around the periphery of things for the last number of months.”

There are first senior call-ups for defenders Declan Rice, Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams and Enda Stevens, as well as Kieran O’Hara.

The 30-man provisional squad will be cut down to a final 25-man squad around St. Patrick’s Day.

The squad will meet up ahead of the three FAI International Awards on Sunday, March 18 and depart for Turkey the next morning.

Republic of Ireland squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Rob Elliot (Newcastle United), Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), John Egan (Brentford), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Greg Cunningham (Preston North End), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), David Meyler (Hull City), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds United), Liam Kelly (Reading), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)

Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End)

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