Shay exit opens Trap door for West­wood

SER­BIA v REP OF IRE­LAND Kick-off 7.45pm

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

KIEREN WEST­WOOD is de­ter­mined to put his Euro 2012 mis­ery be­hind him as he looks to nail down his place as the Repub­lic of Ire­land’s new No.1 goal­keeper.

West­wood is set to win only his 11th cap in three years af­ter Shay Given an­nounced his in­ter­na­tional re­tire­ment.

As­ton Villa keeper Given has de­cided to call time on his Ire­land ca­reer af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing Euro 2012 tour­na­ment which saw Gio­vanni Tra­p­at­toni’s side bow out with­out win­ning a game.

And Sun­der­land stop­per West­wood says he can’t wait to fill the huge void left by Given – start­ing against Ser­bia in Bel­grade.

West­wood, 27, ad­mit­ted: “The Eu­ros were tough. We didn’t re­ally give a good ac­count of our­selves if we’re hon­est.

“Maybe a long sea­son caught up with us.


“We met up quite early, and then by the time the games came around we might have been men­tally a bit jaded and phys­i­cally a bit tired.

“Ser­bia away will be a tough old game, to be fair, but it’s one we’re look­ing for­ward to and hope­fully I can get some min­utes there as well.”

The game of­fers Tra­p­at­toni the chance to test some new faces on the in­ter­na­tional stage ahead of Ire­land’s World Cup qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign.

The Ir­ish start their bid to reach Brazil away to Kaza­khstan on Septem­ber 7 be­fore host­ing Ger­many on Oc­to­ber 12.

In­juries and ill­ness have ruled out Kevin Doyle, Stephen Ward, Marc Wil­son, Keith Treacy, Wes Hoola­han and An­thony Pilk­ing­ton.

Skip­per Rob­bie Keane, Richard Dunne and Stephen Hunt have been left out of the 23-man squad.

Ip­swich de­fender Damien De­laney has been called up, while Sea­mus Cole­man and James McCarthy are among those given a fresh op­por­tu­nity by Tra­p­at­toni.

I’M THE ONE: West­wood

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