Damien Duff retirement overshadows Ireland squad announcement

The Fulham winger confirmed his decision to retire from international football moments beforeTrapattoni named his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan
Giovanni Trapattoni has announced a 23-man Republic of Ireland squad to face Kazakhstan in the World Cup Qualifying game on September 7.

However, the squad announcement was preceded by the news that Fulham winger Damien Duff had announced his decision to retire from international football. The 33-year-old follows in the footsteps of goalkeeper Shay Given who confirmed his decision to retire from international football two weeks ago.

Confirming his retirement, the winger said: “It has always been a source of immense pride for me to represent my country. I found it very difficult to make this decision, not least for the respect in which I hold Giovanni Trapattoni.

"I have enjoyed so many good times in the green jersey and want to thank everyone involved, especially the fans for making the last 14 years so special.

"I want to wish Giovanni [Trapattoni], Marco [Tardelli] and everyone involved with the Irish team every success for the future and will be supporting them every step of the way.”

There were very few changes to the squad that faced Serbia, with only Marc Wilson, Darron Gibson and Sean St Ledger making a return to the squad following injury. There was however, no place for Wolves winger Stephen Hunt, or Burnley wide-man Keith Treacy.

Speaking at the squad announcement, Trapattoni was full of praise for Damien Duff. Commenting on the news of the player's retirement, he said: “Damien will be missed by us and by Irish fans everywhere. He was immensely skilful and a great example to the players who come after him. I give him my warmest best wishes for his future career.”

"It is important to get off to a good start at the opening match of our 2014 campaign. Kazakhstan is a good side who have caused difficulties at home for a number of leading teams but we know our strengths and will be relying on them when we travel to Astana in September.

"We will be without Damien Duff who has been a truly great player for his country. I thank Damien for his immense contribution and hope his professionalism and dedication will be an inspiration to the wingers who are now emerging in his place.”

Ireland squad to face Kazakhstan: Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O'Shea, St Ledger, O'Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Gibson, McCarthy, Whelan, Coleman, O'Brien, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters