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Trapattoni facing tough choices

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has admitted he faces an agonising series of decisions as he attempts to finalise his squad for Euro 2012.

The 73-year-old Italian has indicated that the 23 men who board the plane for Poland in June will be drawn from those who helped them qualify, and that could mean an anxious wait for the likes of James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman, who have had limited game time.

Trapattoni, speaking during an inspection tour of the facilities in Montecatini, Italy, where the Irish will hold their pre-tournament training camp, said: "We have 27 or 28 players and it will be a great pity, a great pity, when we have to decide on the 23, to decide on this player or that player."

He added: "We have time until a few days before the tournament starts and we can change if there is injury, and then maybe we could do with these extra players.

"I have two or three decisions to make. McCarthy, Coleman, players like that, I have to make a decision and I do not forget them for the next campaign, for the World Cup, but we have to decide the best for now."

Trapattoni drafted in-form Sunderland winger James McClean into the squad for the first time for February's friendly against the Czech Republic, and he too will anxiously await the final decision.

But the former Italy boss also revealed he and assistant boss Marco Tardelli have been keeping an eye on the progress of 29-year-old Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan, who has impressed during the Canaries' first campaign back in the Barclays Premier League.

He said: "I have spoken to Marco about him, he has been fantastic. We have already James McCarthy and McClean. This is not the campaign for too many young players, but Hoolahan is not young, he is [nearly] 30."

Several of Trapattoni's key men, including strikers Kevin Doyle, Shane Long and Simon Cox, have not been regular starters for their clubs in recent weeks, although the Ireland boss is confident their lack of football will not be an issue.


From Belfast Telegraph