Sanchez springs surprises in NI selection

Lawrie Sanchez has named a much changed Northern Ireland squad to face Switzerland in Zurich on Wednesday.

While two new caps will come in the shape of Wolves' Mark Clyde and Sheffield Wednesday's Chris Brunt, the most glaring omission is that of Bristol City midfielder Tommy Doherty who has failed to make the squad despite a shortage of midfield players due to the withdrawals of Jeff Whitley, Steve Lomas and Phil Mulryne.

Sanchez will also have to make do without James Quinn, Chris Baird, Steve Jones and George McCartney who are all unavailable for Northern Ireland's final turnout before they face Poland in the opening game of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers in September.

The NI squad is: Taylor, Carroll, Craigan, Clyde, Murdock, Williams, Hughes, Capaldi, Gillespie, Sonner, Johnson, Hughes, Elliott, Brunt, Smith, Healy, Hamilton, McVeigh.

Meanwhile, Matt Holland and Andy O'Brien have withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad for Wednesday's friendly clash with Bulgaria at Lansdowne Road. Holland is suffering from damage to an ankle ligament while O'Brien has contracted conjunctivitis.

Manager Brian Kerr said he had no plans to call in any replacements.

The RoI squad was named as: Given, Colgan, Kenny, Finnan, Cunningham, Maybury, O'Shea, Carr, Doherty, Breen, Miller, Quinn, Keane, Kavanagh, Reid, Barrett, Kilbane, Duff, Lee, Morrison, Connolly, Macken.


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