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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 18:42 UK

Keane to remain Republic captain

Giovanni Trapattoni and Liam Brady
Brady (right) played under Trapattoni at Juventus in the 1980s

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni will keep Robbie Keane as captain, assistant manger Liam Brady revealed in Dublin on Tuesday.

Brady also said the Italian will meet with defenders Steve Finnan and Andy O'Brien in a bid to coax them out of international retirement.

"Robbie will stay as captain - he has a lot of personality and experience.

"I believe it will take the manager to convince the players to come back, Andy and Steve, and Dean Kiely," said Brady.

Brady and Marco Tardelli, another member of Trapattoni's backroom team, unveiled the Italian's first Republic squad at the Football Association of Ireland's headquarters in Dublin.

They announced a 40-man preliminary party which will be whittled down to 28 ahead of a training camp in Portugal in late May.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland, who were not involved in Steve Staunton's latter days as boss, were included in the squad.

"I've made contact with Steve Finnan and Andy O'Brien, and in the case of Andy, I have spoken to his father and I'd like him to agree to meet with me and the manager in the next few weeks," said Brady.

"Steve Finnan has agreed to meet with me in the next two weeks and I'm hoping that's a good sign.

"I hope it's good because Trapattoni has been watching past games and keeps talking to me about him and wants him badly.

"Giovanni has already been in touch with Sven-Goran Eriksson and had a chat with him about Stephen Ireland.

"I know Sven would like him to come back because international football can help you as a player.

"I'm very optimistic it will be sorted out - I haven't heard that he doesn't want to be in the squad so he will definitely be in the 28 unless he says he doesn't want to be. If there are any issues to be resolved we're happy to speak with him," said Brady.

Four former Republic internationals were named to complete Trapattoni's backroom team.

Alan Kelly returns as goalkeeping coach, Mick Lawlor becomes kit manager and Frank Stapleton and Mick Martin will be involved in scouting.

The Republic will play Serbia at Croke Park on Saturday May 24, with Columbia their opponents at Craven Cottage five days later.

see also
Brady named as Republic assistant
07 Mar 08 |  Internationals
Trapattoni named Republic manager
13 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Trapattoni's test
13 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Trapattoni to have Republic talks
10 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Carsley wants Irish boss urgency
07 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Republic may face Trapattoni wait
04 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Jewell 'rules out' Republic job
23 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Venables open to Republic offer
02 Dec 07 |  Internationals
Staunton leaves Republic boss job
24 Oct 07 |  Internationals

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