Keith Andrews will be one of ten Irishmen desperate to impress future employers this summer.

by Leighton Cullen

With Ireland due to kick off their Euro 2012 campaign in ten days time a significant number of their team will not only be playing for their country but also their immediate futures. Leighton Cullen looks at the players hoping to put themselves front and centre in the shop window.

We will start at the back with three of the defence due to start next term in the Championship while another sees his contract come to an end.

Darren O Dea ( Celtic ) A player looking to leave Celtic Park on a free this summer O’Dea has enjoyed a solid season on loan at Leeds. There has been some surprise that Warnock has decided against taking up the option on a centre-back who is equally adept in the left-back role and has been a regular starter when fit.

Has proved himself more than capable at Championship level and should attract several offers, particularly if he gets some game-time in Poland.

Stephen Ward (Wolves) The 26 year old finds himself in a bit of limbo at club level after doing reasonably well in a dire defence. Has recently stated that he intends to remain at Molineux but a few decent displays at the Euros might well tempt a promoted side such as Reading to take a cheap punt on a consistent and reliable left-back. If so he would surely reconsider his options.

Sean St Ledger (Leicester) Big Dunney’s central defensive partner finds himself in the unusual position of being a bit-part player for his club but hugely valued by Trapattoni. In many ways a younger version of Dunne he is willing to put his body on the line for the boys in green and is a shoo-in to start all three group games.

From his early days at Peterborough St Ledger has persistently found himself on the cusp of a big-money move. A good and solid Euros will do his chances no harm whatsoever.

Paul McShane (Hull) Newly added to the squad and a prime example of Trap’s erratic thinking that has perplexed most of the nation. After two unsuccessful loan spells that amounted to yet more time spent on the bench McShane is unlikely to be pitted against the likes of Torres or Cassano and is perceived to have been selected merely to make up the numbers. His inclusion however does raise his stock and the defender will be hoping to end his Hull hell with a move to a fellow Championship side before the close of the transfer window.

Keith Andrews (WBA) The combative Andrews signed a six month contract at the Hawthorns that has now run out and with Hodgson now gone his future looks uncertain. For Ireland he is one of Trap’s firm favourites and from January onwards performed at a high standard for the Albion which should put him in a good position to either secure a new contract or new club.

Stephen Hunt (Wolves) Hunt endured an uncharacteristically underwhelming season at Wolves and in my view shouldn’t be at the Euros. Yet another player with his future in limbo he is most likely to remain at Molineux and attempt to haul the club back to the top flight at the first time of asking. For Ireland however it is doubtful he will be involved at all with McGeady, Duff and McClean superior options out wide.

Paul Green (Free Agent ) Another shocking call from Trap to bring Green to the Euros. The former Derby County player won’t see a minute of action as he is behind Andrews,Whelan and Gibson in the pecking order and his future as regards to remaining in the Championship next season looks bleak. His days appear numbered in an Ireland shirt too as he is simply not good enough. Hopefully Trap will get rid of the deadwood in time for the World Cup qualifiers.

Simon Cox (WBA) I like the look of Cox who has a bit of a spark in him and has done well from the very beginning for Ireland. I think he will leave WBA this summer and may have to go to a Championship club for first team football. This summer he will be lucky to get a run out as Walters, Doyle , Long and Keane are all ahead of him.

Kevin Doyle (Wolves) An in-form Doyle causes defences all sorts of problems with his tireless work down the channels; if only his strike-rate improved he’d be top four pedigree. Has proven to be a useful foil for Keane with the pair certain to start against Croatia and beyond. Should the ex-Reading hit man be a thorn in the side of the best defences around on the Euro stage he’s certain to get the move he has publicly sought. And it is hoped he does because not only if he a class above the Championship, with Walters and Long both chomping at the bit for international starts, the competition is fierce up front.

Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) Keano is too good for the MLS and still has the ability to terrorise England rearguards. A switch back to Villa is not inconceivable though several clubs will surely be looking at his availability.

The captain will be Ireland’s poacher expected to finish the few chances we’ll carve out.