Ireland manager has hinted that the Sunderland goalkeeper may be in line to start against Kazakhstan in September's World Cup qualifierSunderland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood could be set for his second competitive start for Ireland, as Giovanni Trapattoni has suggested the 27-year-old shot stopper may take to the field against Kazakhstan.
The Ireland manager left out a number of senior names from his squad to face Serbia in August's international friendly, and with Shay Given one of the absentees, Westwood is likely to start between the posts.
Trapattoni told the Sunday Independent that he informed Given of his exclusion in a text message, and hopes that Given can help mentor Westwood as his long-term replacement.
"I sent him an SMS 15 days ago and told him my intention," said Trapattoni. "In this friendly game, I want to see Westwood and try the other goalkeepers."
Looking ahead to World Cup 2014 qualifying, which begins in September, Trapattoni suggested that he may hand Westwood the number one shirt in Kazakhstan. "Maybe Westwood could start," Trapattoni said. "Given could help Westwood, why not?"
Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane, Keith Andrews, and Stephen Hunt are the other senior names absent from the squad that will take on Serbia, with Trapattoni looking to change the side which underperformed at Euro 2012. However, the Italian said that there was still room for the old guard in his future squads. "This is just the process of life," Trapattoni told the Irish Sun. "This will be a good test for us, Serbia.
He continued: "We can't change all of the team at once. We must give the young players an opportunity. For a long time we have spoken about players like Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson, it's not only now that their names have come up.
"There are those players and also James McClean, and now is the time to try them. Maybe they will show us that we can rely on them, but that doesn't mean that we're excluding the senior players," concluded the Italian.
Ireland travel to Belgrade to take on Serbia on August 15th, before heading to Kazakhstan on September 7th to begin their World Cup qualifying campaign.