Irish manager Mick McCarthy has called goalkeeping duo James Talbot and Max O’Leary into the squad for the upcoming European qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar.
After an injury to Bournemouth stopper Mark Travers during the week, which ruled him out of the upcoming fixtures, McCarthy needed to draft in a replacement and has opted for Bohemians’ Talbot and Bristol City’s O’Leary.
O’Leary joins up with the squad for training only and is in the process of becoming eligible for competitive games, so he will not be available for the qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar.
The 22-year old is English born but qualifies for Ireland through his grandfather who is from Kerry and McCarthy explained that the training camp in Portugal represents a good opportunity for the Bristol City man to train and work with the squad.
“Max is in the process of getting his passport, so that is taking its time. But this is a good opportunity to have a look at him and for him to meet up with the lads,” said McCarthy.
“He’s had a very good season with Bristol City and was very keen to do what he needed to become eligible for us, so we will take a close look at him in training and leave the process of getting its passport up to our International Department.
“Max will give us another option at goalkeeper and he gets the chance to train alongside Darren [Randolph] and Sean [McDermott], and work with our goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly, for a few days in a great complex in Portugal.”
McCarthy’s other selection James Talbot, has been rewarded following a tremendous season with Bohs in the League of Ireland.
The 22-year old will meet up with the squad when they return from Portugal and will be involved in the squads for the games against Denmark and Gibraltar however he will be released for his club games against Finn Harps and UCD before linking back in with the Ireland set-up.
The Irish outlined that their goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has been very impressed by what he has seen from Talbot this season.
“We’ve had a couple of injuries to goalkeepers and Caoimhin Kelleher is going to the Toulon Tournament with the Under-21s, so we’ve brought in James Talbot due to his recent form with Bohemians,” said McCarthy.
“Our goalkeeping coach, Alan Kelly, had been keeping an eye on the lad and he has done very well. We are happy to release him to play for his club. I’ve spoken to Keith Long and he’s been very supportive. And he’s delighted for James.
“We understand it’s an important time for Bohemians but equally this is a great opportunity for James to come in with us.”