Ronan Curtis makes the cut as McCarthy finalises Irish panel

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Ronan Curtis has been included in the final 23-man Republic of Ireland squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.

Curtis was named in the provisional squad and emerged as a major doubt after a freak injury this week.

Curtis lost the top of his finger and required plastic surgery when a door slammed shut on him, forcing him to miss Portsmouth’s 3-2 win at Walsall on Tuesday night.

McCarthy was at The Valley on Saturday to see Curtis net his 12th goal of the season and the St Johnston man has taken League One by storm in his first campaign since signing last summer from Derry City.

“He’s naturally a wide player, as we have seen on the many occasions we have watched him this season, but Ronan is a real goal threat as well,” McCarthy said of the Portsmouth attacker.

“He’s a right-footer playing on the left and he is always looking to cut in from the wing behind the full-back and get into scoring positions inside the six-yard box.

“It is very difficult for defenders to cope with an elusive player who drifts in like that. It’s why Ronan gets so many goals and I really like that in a wide player.”

The squad, which also includes Seamus Coleman – whose next cap will be his 50th – will begin preparations for their opening Group D games on Monday, March 18 at FAI National Training Centre.

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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