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Given keen for more Irish caps

Shay Given is ready to represent Ireland again after initially announcing his retirement.

Given has been out of favour with club side Aston Villa so far this season, and the goalkeeper has told Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni that he is available for selection should he be required.

Trapattoni has turned to younger players since Given’s decision to retire with Sunderland’s Keiren Westwood replacing Ireland’s most-capped goalkeeper.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, Trapattoni confirmed that he had discussed a possible return with Given, saying: “I called Shay to catch up. He told me that I can count on him if I need him, like he said after the Euros.

“It was good to speak to him. He is a serious professional and dedicated senior player who deserves my respect.

“I explained that since the Euros I have placed a big emphasis on giving experience to the new players.

“And that is something I feel I have to do for the February friendly, when I intend to give other senior players a break and give younger players experience.

“As I said before though, it means a lot that Shay would be available to us again.”

Writing in his column for the same paper, Given added: “I have spoken to Giovanni and he knows I am available.

“He is going to stick with the new players against Poland and I understand that.

“Keiren Westwood, David Forde and Darren Randolph are the goalkeepers in the frame for that game. I wish them well. I am not looking to stand on their toes.

“But, as I told Giovanni, I am here if one of them gets injured.”

Mon 14 January, 2013
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