McGrath, Houghton, Bonner & Irwin Surprise Inclusions In Irish Squad


MARTIN O’Neill has surprised Irish football supporters with a number of shock inclusions in his final 23-man squad for Euro 2016 following Ireland’s final warm up game against Belarus.

O’Neill had been waiting until the last minute to reveal the identities of the players he was taking to France and there were audible gasps from journalists when O’Neill called out the names of Paul McGrath, Ray Houghton, Packie Bonner and Denis Irwin.

“They can still do a job,” beamed a confident O’Neill flanked by his new squad additions, “and frankly, even if they’re not at their peak they’re still a better shout than some lad playing in League Two whose qualifies through his grandmother having holidayed in Kerry once,” the Ireland manager added.

Football pundits have already raced to criticise the inclusions of players all over the 45 age bracket despite conceding that at 50, Irwin will inject much needed pace into the Irish defence. However, O’Neill was keen to remain positive.

“I’d pay good money to see Zlatan try any of his bullshit on McGrath. And with Packie we have a keeper who now fills out a fair bit of the goal as after a certain age all waists expand, it’ll be tough to get a ball past him,” O’Neill added.

“If anyone has a spare €100, you’d be wise to put Ray down for first goal scorer with an overhead kick against the Swedes,” O’Neill suggested.

It is believed Roy Keane was considered for the final squad too, but O’Neill decided against his assistant’s inclusion after finding a dartboard with darts pinned into the pictures of every non-Irish player participating at the Euros hanging up in Keane’s office.

“There may be such a thing as wanting it too much when it comes to Roy,” O’Neill concluded.