Ireland plans in tatters
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
A total of ten players have pulled out of the midweek trip to Athens, leaving caretaker coach Don Givens's plans in disarray.
Wimbledon striker Connolly had been handed the chance of a late call-up to the party after initially being overlooked when the squad was announced.
However, the in-form marksman has spurned his nation's invitation, forcing Givens to include several untried names.
Shelbourne's Wes Houlihan, Bohemians' Glenn Crowe and Coventry duo Richie Partridge and Barry Quinn have been added to the squad which is reduced to 18 from 25.
The withdrawals from the original squad for the match in the Greek capital have all cited injury for their absences.
Leeds pair Gary Kelly and Ian Harte, Tottenham duo Stephen Carr and Robbie Keane, along with Arsenal's Graham Barrett, Aston Villa's Mark Kinsella, Birmingham's Clinton Morrison, Blackburn's Damien Duff, Newcastle's Andy O'Brien and Sunderland's Kevin Kilbane are the ten absentees.