IRISH TEAM

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Goalkeepers

1-Shay Given (Newcastle)
Born: 20.4.76

Donegal-born Given began his professional career at Glasgow Celtic but was let go by then-manager Lou Macari. Moved to Blackburn, but left in August 1997 when he was unable to overtake Tim Flowers in the pecking order. His early days at Newcastle were blighted by a series of niggling injuries, but he has since established himself as number one goalkeeper for both club and country.

23-Alan Kelly (Blackburn Rovers)
Born: 11.8.68

A member of Ireland's last World Cup squad at U.S. '94 the former Sheffield United goalkeeper, son of renowned Irish keeper Alan Kelly Snr, was once seen as the natural successor to Packie Bonner in the Irish goal. However, injuries and a lack of opportunities for his club Blackburn have seen him overtaken at international level by the younger Shay Given.

16-Dean Kiely (Charlton)
Born: 10.10.70

English-born Kiely had spells with West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City as a teenager, before moving to York City in 1990. He joined Bury in 1996, picking up an English second division winners medal, before moving on to Charlton for 1million. Made his international debut in Ireland's two-legged Euro 2000 play-off against Turkey in 1999.

Defenders

4-Gary Breen (Coventry City)
Born: 12.12.73

A ball-playing centre half dubbed the "new Mark Lawrenson" when he first came to international attention at under-21 level, Breen entered the 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign as one of manager Mick McCarthy's first choice central defenders. Injuries prevented him taking part in much of the qualifying competition.

18-Gary Kelly (Leeds United)
Born: 9.7.74

Another survivor from the 1994 World Cup, Kelly is a versatile right-back who has also played at centre half and on the wing for club and country. Had a miserable time in Ireland's epic 1-0 win over theNetherlands at Lansdowne Road last September as he was tormented down the flank by Marc Overmars before being sent off for his second bookable foul on the flying Dutch winger.

4-Kenny Cunningham (Wimbledon)
Born: 28.6.71

Regarded as Ireland's best defender, Cunningham was another player who missed much of the World Cup qualifying campaign through injury. Began his career as a fullback under Mick McCarthy at Millwall, but has since become a commanding presence in central defence for club and country.

15-Richard Dunne (Manchester City)
Born: 21.9.79

Nicknamed the "Honey Monster" when he joined Everton as a strapping teenager, he moved to Manchester City in 2000. Thrown in at the deep end during Ireland's qualifying campaign because of injuries to more experienced players, he responded with fine performances against the Netherlands and Portugal.

5-Steve Staunton (Aston Villa)
Born: 19.1.69

Veteran Staunton's career seemed to be winding down as Ireland entered the 2002 qualifying campaign, with the Dundalk-born defender out of favour with both club and country. But when injuries prompted his recall Staunton responded superbly, re-establishing himself as one of McCarthy's first choice centre backs and becoming Ireland's most-capped player in the process.

3-Ian Harte (Leeds United)
Born: 31.8.77

Leeds team-mate Gary Kelly's nephew. Fullback Harte played in every minute of the 12 games it took Ireland to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Won his first cap against Croatia in 1996 after just four first team appearances for his club. A wicked left foot has made him a dead ball specialist.

20-Andy O'Brien (Newcastle United)
Born: 29.6.79

Joined Newcastle in March last year from Bradford City, where he had helped secure promotion to the premier league in the 1998/99 season. Has established himself as a regular in Bobby Robson's side, and won his first cap against Estonia in Tallinn last year.

2-Steve Finnan (Fulham)
Born 20.4.76

Limerick-born Finnan moved to London as a child and began his career with non-league Weymouth before moving to Birmingham City. He then joined Fulham where and helped win the first division title under Jean Tigana last season. Can operate down either flank and has also played in central midfield.

Midfielders

12-Mark Kinsella (Charlton Athletic)
Born: 12.8.72

Began his career at Dublin's Home Farm club before moving to England with Colchester United. Joined Charlton in September 1996. After emerging as an international midfielder in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2000.

11-Kevin Kilbane (Sunderland)
Born: 1.2.77

Born in England to Irish parents, Kilbane began his career with hometown club Preston North End and rejected an England youth call-up to wait for Ireland's call. A dynamic left winger, he won his first senior cap against Iceland in 1997, joining West Bromwich Albion the same year before moving to Sunderland in December 1999.

22-Lee Carsley (Everton)
Born 28.2.74

A native of England's midlands region, Carsley began his career as a trainee with Derby County in 1992, and had spells with Blackburn Rovers and Coventry City before his latest move to Merseyside. Gritty and combative, he now has the chance to take over from the missing Roy Keane.

7-Jason McAteer (Sunderland)
Born: 18.6.71

Began his career with Bolton Wanderers before joining his hometown heroes Liverpool in 1995. Qualified to represent four countries, McAteer was persuaded to play for Ireland by Jack Charlton and starred in the 1994 World Cup. Joined Blackburn in 1999 but fell out of favour with manager Graeme Souness. Scored the crucial goal in Ireland's 1-0 win over the Dutch in Dublin last September and is now enjoying a new lease of life at Sunderland.

8-Matt Holland (Ipswich Town)
Born: 11.4.74

English-born Holland qualifies for Ireland through a grandmother from County Monaghan. Joined Ipswich from Bournemouth in July 1997 and was a central figure in the side's successful push for promotion to the premier league. Made his international debut against Macedonia in October 1999.

21-Steven Reid (Millwall)
Born: 10.3.81

Qualified to play for England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Jamaica, Reid was called up to the Irish under-21 squad in 2000, making his senior debut against Croatia a year later. A strong, athletic midfielder, he scored his first international goal against Russia in February. Equally at home on the right or left flank and can also play at fullback.

Forwards

10-Robbie Keane (Leeds United)
Born: 8.7.80.

Despite his youth the "Tallaght Terror" is already firmly established as Ireland's number one striker. Began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, moving to Coventry City before Italian giants Internazionale paid 13million for him in July 2000. His brief spell at the San Siro did not work out but he has recaptured his form since returning to England with Leeds. No relation to Roy.

17-Niall Quinn (Sunderland)
Born: 6.10.66

The great survivor of the Irish side who, despite a series of injury problems, became Ireland's record goalscorer when he bagged his 21st against Cyprus in the qualifying campaign. Quinn was a minor gaelic games star prior to turning to soccer full time, playing for Dublin in the All-Ireland Minor Hurling final of 1983 a few months before he signed for Arsenal. After a promising start there he moved to Manchester City before joining Sunderland at the start of the 1995/96 season.

13-David Connolly (Wimbledon)
Born 6.6.77

Born in London to Irish parents, the impish striker began his career with Watford and broke into the Irish squad at the age of 18. His international form caught the eye of Dutch club Feyenoord, where he moved on a Bosman free transfer. Had a difficult four years in the Netherlands, and after a spell with the Rotterdam outfit's nursery club Excelsior he returned to England with Wimbledon.

19-Clinton Morrison (Crystal Palace)
Born: 14.5.79

London-born Morrison has been fast tracked into the Irish squad since declaring for the Republic last year. Qualified through a grandmother from Garristown, Morrison was viewed with some suspicion by Irish fans after a series of comments that seemed to suggest he had been waiting for a call from England before opting to play for Ireland. A goal on his debut against Croatia helped win over supporters, and he provides a handy extra option for Mick McCarthy in attack.

9-Damien Duff (Blackburn Rovers)
Born: 2.3.79

One of the most skilful players in the Irish squad, Duff has played most of his football on the left wing, but McCarthy has recently been experimenting with him as a second striker alongside Robbie Keane. Made his senior debut against the Czech Republic in 1998.