Dublin - The Republic of Ireland's record goal-scorer Robbie
Keane headlined a 35-man squad announced on Thursday for the forthcoming
friendly against the Netherlands and the 2016 European Championship.
The Los Angeles Galaxy striker, 35, will go in search of his
68th international goal against Holland in Dublin on May 27, while, at the
other end of the scale, Oxford United winger Callum O'Dowda has won his first
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill will whittle his squad down
to 23 players the day after the match in preparation for Euro 2016, which will
see the Irish tackle Sweden, Belgium and Italy in Group E.
"Everything now is about preparing for Euro 2016 and
that is why we wanted to play a team of the calibre of the Netherlands as we
aim to make the most of our time ahead of the departure for France,"
O'Neill told a press conference in Dublin.
"We will travel to Fota Island Resort (near Cork,
Ireland) for a training camp and a game against Belarus in the week afterwards,
but this game at the Aviva Stadium is very important in terms of building our
match sharpness and getting into tournament mode.
"It is also an opportunity to play in front of the
Ireland supporters, who have been terrific, at the Aviva Stadium before leaving
for the Euros and that is something that means a lot to the players because
when we get together, it all comes together."
Keane, who is also Ireland's captain, recently returned to
action for LA Galaxy after undergoing knee surgery.
Also read: Knee op to sideline Galaxy’s Keane for up to six weeks
There was a place in the squad for Everton right-back Seamus
Coleman, despite the fact he has not played since last month due to a hamstring
Shay Given, Marc Wilson, Jeff Hendrick, Harry Arter,
Jonathan Walters and David McGoldrick also return after missing the March
friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia through injury.
Ireland play their final pre-tournament friendly against
Belarus in Cork on May 31 before travelling to France on June 8. They open
their Euro campaign against Sweden in Paris on June 13.
Goalkeepers: Shay Given (Stoke City/ENG), Darren Randolph
(West Ham United/ENG), David Forde (Millwall/ENG), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton/ENG), Cyrus Christie
(Derby County/ENG), Paul McShane (Reading/ENG), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa/ENG),
Richard Keogh (Derby County/ENG), John O'Shea (Sunderland/ENG), Alex Pearce
(Bristol City/ENG, on loan from Derby County/ENG), Shane Duffy (Blackburn
Rovers/ENG), Marc Wilson (Stoke City/ENG), Stephen Ward (Burnley/ENG)
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady (Sheffield Wednesday/ENG, on loan
from Everton/ENG), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion/ENG), Glenn Whelan
(Stoke City/ENG), James McCarthy (Everton/ENG), Jeff Hendrick (Derby
County/ENG), David Meyler (Hull City/ENG), Stephen Quinn (Reading/ENG), Darron
Gibson (Everton/ENG), Harry Arter (Bournemouth/ENG), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich
City/ENG), Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth/ENG), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff
City/WAL), Robbie Brady (Norwich City/ENG), Jonathan Walters (Stoke City/ENG),
Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen/SCO), Callum O'Dowda (Oxford United/ENG)
Forwards: Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy/USA), Shane Long
(Southampton/ENG), David McGoldrick (Ipswich Town/ENG), Kevin Doyle (Colorado
Rapids/USA), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town/ENG)For
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