The first international break of 2019 is upon us, and McCarthy will be hoping to get off to a perfect start in his second stint as Ireland boss.
Ireland travel to take on Gibraltar on Saturday evening before returning home to face Georgia on Tuesday night, both in Euro 2020 qualifiers.
McCarthy's first squad since taking over from Martin O'Neill featured Aston Villa ace Whelan, despite many thinking the 35-year-old was edging towards international retirement.
Whelan has recently enjoyed a fine run of form for Aston Villa, featuring prominently in their four-game winning streak, offering defensive protection whilst allowing John McGinn and Jack Grealish to go and attack.
It's therefore no surprise that Whelan earned a spot in McCarthy's squad, and The Irish Independent claim that McCarthy has been 'struck' by Whelan's energy levels.
Despite his age, and featuring so regularly for Villa of late, it's believed that Whelan has been showing great energy in training, meaning he may well start against Gibraltar.
Ireland will be hoping to see the player Villa fans have praised of late, whilst Dean Smith will be praying that the veteran comes through this international break unscathed.
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