Thursday, March 08, 2018

Former Tramore AFC player, Derrick Williams, of Blackburn Rovers has been named in the Republic of Ireland senior squad for their upcoming friendly against Turkey. Photo:

There was great news before lunch today for former Tramore AFC player, Derrick Williams, when he was named in Martin O’Neill’ 30-man provisional squad for the International Friendly between Republic of Ireland and Turkey on Friday, March 23 in Antalya.

Derrick, who turned 25 in January, is receiving his first senior call up after winning eight U-19 and six U-21 caps for Ireland. There are also first senior nods for his Balckburn Rovers team-mate, Darragh Lenihan, Manchester United goalkeeper Keran O’Hara, Sheffield United’s Enda Stevens and West Ham United’s Declan Rice.

Left-back Williams moved from Tramore to Aston Villa in 2009 and made one first team appearance before moving to Bristol City in 2013. He made 111 appearances for the Ashton Gate club before signing for Blackburn Rovers in 2016. He was Rovers’ player of the season in 2016/17 and this season he has started all of their 36 league games as they sit five points clear of the rest at the top of the League One table.

It is yet another very proud day for the Graun Park club who were crowned as the FAI Club of the Year in 2011.

Waterford’s John O’Shea has not been included in the squad and it’s the first squad since Daryl Murphy announced his international retirement recently.

Ireland’s first game of 2018 will come at the end of a three-day training camp in Antalya and kicks off what will be a busy year with friendly games against United States, France, Poland and Northern Ireland, as well as UEFA Nations League games with Denmark and Wales.

Captain Seamus Coleman returns to the squad a year after suffering injury in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Wales, while Greg Cunningham, Alan Judge, and Sean Maguire are also included following long-term injuries.

The squad will meet up ahead of the 3 FAI International Awards on Sunday, March 18 in RTE Studios and depart for Turkey the next morning. After the game on Friday, March 23, the squad will return to Dublin and leave camp.

Republic of Ireland Squad
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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