Sheffield Wednesday: Keiren Westwood included in extended Republic of Ireland squad

Keiren Westwood has been named in a provisional 40-man Republic of Ireland squad for their forthcoming friendly matches
Keiren Westwood has been named in a provisional 40-man Republic of Ireland squad for their forthcoming friendly matches
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Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has been selected in a provisional 40-man Republic of Ireland squad for their up-and-coming friendlies with Celtic, France and the United States of America.

Westwood, who has not played a competitive match since December 9 due to injury, is one of six goalkeepers included in the squad.

Westwood played 18 times for the Owls in the 2017/18 season

Westwood played 18 times for the Owls in the 2017/18 season

Republic boss Martin O’Neill has also called up Darren Randolph, Colin Doyle, Kieran O’Hara, Ian Lawlor and Conor O’Malley.

A groin injury restricted Westwood to 18 appearances in the 2017/18 season as Jos Luhukay’s side finished 15th in the rankings.

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Luhukay said he expects Westwood to be fit in time for the start of pre-season training on June 25.

“He is working intensively to come back, but what the future brings us, we will see,” said Luhukay.

The 33-year-old, contracted to the Owls until next summer, was heavily linked with a move away from Hillsborough last month. Southampton, Leeds United, Celtic and Rangers are all reportedly monitoring his situation.

As for the Republic, O’Neill has kept one eye on the future with a first senior call-up for Shamrock Rovers striker Graham Burke. The 24-year-old is the top scorer in the League of Ireland with nine goals this season.

There are also first senior call-ups for Preston forward Callum Robinson and Peterborough’s O’Malley.

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O’Neill will be without the services of midfielder Robbie Brady (knee), James McCarthy (broken leg), Jonny Hayes (ankle) and Aiden McGeady (ankle).

Sunderland defender John O’Shea is to retire from international football after the matches.

O’Neill will use the friendly games as part of his preparations ahead of the opening UEFA Nations League fixture away to Wales on September 6. Some players will drop out of the squad after the Celtic game on May 20. They play France away on May 28 before hosting the United States on June 2.

*Republic of Ireland squad for friendlies against Celtic, France and the United States: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Colin Doyle (Bradford), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Ian Lawlor (Doncaster), Conor O’Malley (Peterborough United), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolves), Alex Pearce, Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Brentford), Shane Duffy (Brighton), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle), Declan Rice (West Ham), Kevin Long (Burnley), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (Blackburn), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Preston), Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Eunan O’Kane (Leeds), David Meyler (Hull), Shaun Williams (Millwall), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (Preston), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (West Brom), Jonathan Walters (Burnley), Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), Sean Maguire, Callum Robinson (Preston), Graham Burke (Shamrock Rovers).

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