Martin O’Neill names 40-man Ireland squad including three uncapped players

Martin O'Neill at Friday's Republic of Ireland squad announcement

Martin O’Neill at Friday’s Republic of Ireland squad announcement

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has named three potential debutants in his 40-man squad for the team’s two friendlies at the end of March.

Former St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Chris Forrester, who moved to Peterborough in last summer's transfer window, has been included.

Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) and Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers) have also been named in the provisional squad.

23-year-old Forrester has made 26 appearances for League One side Peterborough this season, carding two goals.

Congrats to @chrisforrester1 on his call up to the Ireland senior squad. 3 years ago he played for under 21s

— St Patrick's Ath (@stpatsfc) March 11, 2016

Hayes, who also plays in the middle of the park, has netted four times in 26 Scottish Premier League starts this season.

The only defender among the uncapped players, Doherty is a full-back who can operate on either side of the defence.

He has scored and assisted twice for Championship side Wolves this season, notching one of each in Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Bristol City:

Forrester, Hayes and Doherty are all uncapped at senior level.

Birmingham City's Stephen Gleeson, who has two Ireland caps to his name with the last coming in 2007, has also made the 40-man selection.

Gleeson, who operates as a defensive midfielder, has started 34 out of 35 of Birmingham's Championship fixtures this season, scoring four goals and assisting three times in the process.

Stoke City goalkeeper Shay Given and Hayes' clubmate, striker Adam Rooney, have been left out of the squad due to injury.

Ireland play Switzerland on Good Friday, March 25 at the Aviva Stadium before taking on Slovakia at the Dublin ground four days later.

Here is the full squad list named by O'Neill today:

Congratulations to @mattdoherty20, @ChrisForrester1 & @jonnyhayes7 on their first call-ups! #COYBIG #EURO2016

— FAI (@FAIreland) March 11, 2016

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