Richard Keogh, Conor Sammon and Jeff Hendrick rewarded as they earn Irish call-ups
NIGEL Clough says the international call-ups for Derby County trio Richard Keogh, Conor Sammon and Jeff Hendrick are richly deserved.
The three players have been named in the senior Republic of Ireland squad for the first time.
They are among five uncapped players in the 27-man squad for the friendly against Poland in Dublin on Wednesday, February 6.
"It's big news for us as a club to have three players selected in one international squad," said Clough, who signed Keogh and Sammon last summer.
Orders taken over £2000 , will receive £100 off and the option to take 2 years interest free credit
Terms: £100 off only on orders over £2000 with the option to take 2 years interest free credit , this offer ends bank holiday Monday 27th may 4 pm , this voucher must be printed and presented on ordering .
Contact: 01332 419898
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
"Richard and Conor have made big impacts on the side since arriving," added the manager, "and Jeff has firmly established himself in our midfield over the past year.
"His performances in recent weeks have been as good as we've seen from him in a Derby shirt.
"They are all extremely good characters and their call-ups are all richly deserved.
"We will all be watching with interest next month and we have no doubt they will do themselves and the club proud.
"It is a good chance for all of them to try and impress and keep themselves in the Ireland set-up moving forwards."
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni says he is looking forward to working with the Derby players. Trapattoni has been to watch Derby in recent weeks and Rams skipper Keogh, striker Sammon and midfielder Hendrick have caught his eye.
"I have decided to use this friendly game as an opportunity to work with younger players to see their potential," said the Italian.
"As a result, I have given senior players like Robbie Keane and Stephen Kelly a break for this fixture.
"We saw a number of strong performances from our younger players in the second half of last year and we intend to build from those strong foundations, using this friendly match to introduce more new talent like Pilkington, Hendrick, Sammon and Keogh.
"I look forward to working with these players and seeing what they have to offer."
Keogh, born in Harlow, Essex, captained the Republic at under-21 level and played eight times over a three-year period. The 26-year-old central defender made his under-21 debut in 2005.
Sammon, 26, was born in Dublin and the first of his under-21 appearances was against Portugal in September 2007. He also represented the under-23s in a match against Slovakia.
Hendrick was also born in Dublin and he has played for the Republic at all levels from under-15 to under-21.
The 20-year-old made his under-21 debut in a victory over Turkey in August 2011. He has played six times for the under-21s.
Summing up their contribution to Derby this season, Clough said: "Richard's form has been very consistent. He has put his body on the line when it's really mattered. He's a leader at the back and so when we were aiming to bring in a central defender in the summer, he was the first name on our list.
"We think he'll only get better, too, and his form this season certainly merits a chance to show what he can do on the international scene.
"Conor is a real team player, sometimes putting others before himself and that is a quality we really like about him, as well as the partnership which is developing between him and Jamie Ward.
"Conor has scored seven times this season and he has really grown in confidence and stature over the past few months. He is a real threat to opposition defences.
"It has been fascinating to watch Jeff develop over the last few years.
"He has grown and matured to be a very good midfield player. At 20, there is plenty of scope for him to improve even more.
"His form was excellent last season and although he had a sticky patch a few weeks ago, he showed bags of character to rediscover his form and he has actually taken it up a notch."
The Republic have two World Cup qualifiers in March against Sweden in Stockholm and Austria in Dublin.
SQUAD: Westwood (Sunderland), Forde (Millwall), Henderson (West Ham), Coleman (Everton), O'Shea (Sunderland), O'Dea (Toronto), McShane (Hull), Ward (Wolves), Clark (Aston Villa), Dunne (Aston Villa), Keogh (Derby), Cunningham (Bristol City), Pilkington (Norwich), Hendrick (Derby), McCarthy (Wigan), Meyler (Hull), Whelan (Stoke), Keogh (Millwall), McGeady (Spartak Moscow), McClean (Sunderland), Brady (Hull), Hoolahan (Norwich), Doyle (Wolves), Cox (Nottm Forest), Walters (Stoke), Long (West Brom), Sammon (Derby).