Chris Forrester among those named in Ireland's provisional squad ahead of Euro 2016

Martin O'Neill has elected to pick a big squad to give every player the best opportunity

Chris Forrester among those named in Ireland's provisional squad ahead of Euro 2016

©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Martin O'Neill has named a provisional squad for the upcoming international friendly games ahead of Euro 2016.

The squad will be reduced and then assemble on March 20 before they face Switzerland on March 25 and Slovakia on March 29 in the Aviva Stadium. The team will also complete a training week at the FA National Training Centre. 

First time additions to the squad include defender Matt Doherty, midfielders Jonathan Hayes, and Chris Forrester - all of whom have represented Ireland at underage level.

The purpose of this enlarged provisional squad is to afford all players an equal opportunity to play for a position in the final squad.

Speaking after the announcement today, Ireland manager O'Neill said: "The countdown to EURO 2016 starts now for us and we look forward to welcoming both Switzerland and Slovakia to Aviva Stadium for what will be two very important games for us.

"Both myself and my staff have been incredibly busy since qualification last November scouting and monitoring as many players as possible. I know that I will have a very tough decision to name a final squad for EURO 2016 and that is why I want to give players a chance to impress.

"For these two games, I would like to encourage Ireland supporters to come out in numbers to support the team as passionately as they did during our qualifying campaign. When we come together it creates a fantastic atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium and the players really feed off that."

The squad in full is: 

Goalkeepers

Darren Randolph (West Ham United)  
David Forde (Millwall)   
Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday)  
Rob Elliot (Newcastle United)  

Defenders

Cyrus Christie (Derby County)  
Seamus Coleman (Everton)  
Richard Keogh (Derby County)  
John O'Shea (Sunderland)  
Alex Pearce (Bristol City*)  
Shane Duffy (Blackburn Rovers)  
Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)  
Paul McShane (Reading)  
Stephen Ward (Burnley)  
Greg Cunningham (Preston North End)  
Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers)  

Midfielders

Robbie Brady (Norwich City)  
James McCarthy (Everton)  
Jeff Hendrick (Derby County)  
Darron Gibson (Everton)  
Harry Arter (Bournemouth)  
Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth)  
Glenn Whelan (Stoke City)  
Paul Green (Rotherham United)  
Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City)  
David Meyler (Hull City)  
Stephen Quinn (Reading)  
Aiden McGeady (Sheffield Wednesday*)  
James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)  
Alan Judge (Brentford)  
Jonathan Hayes (Aberdeen)  
Chris Forrester (Peterborough United)  
Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City)  
Jonathan Walters (Stoke City)  
Wes Hoolahan (Norwich City)  

Forwards

Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)  
Shane Long (Southampton)  
Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town)  
Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids)  
Anthony Stokes (Celtic)   
Simon Cox (Reading)