Football

Shay Given set for international return

Given turned his back on international football post-Euro 2012. (©GettyImages)
Given turned his back on international football post-Euro 2012. (©GettyImages).

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has decided he will return to international football, following his initial retirement after Euro 2012.

Given has been used sparingly thus far by Villa manager Paul Lambert, and the 36-year-old stopper may be looking to return to the international stage in search of game time.

The former Newcastle and Manchester City goalkeeper is the Republic's most capped keeper, but he did confirm he would not be selected for the upcoming friendly against Poland in February.

Instead, Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni will stick with the younger alternatives who were tasked with replacing Given at senior level. That said, Sunderland's Keiren Westwood is likely to remain in between the sticks for now at least, although Trapattoni hasn't ruled out involving Given in the future.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, Trapattoni said: "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."

On a potential return to the international scene, 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."

Given has appeared just twice this season, with Paul Lambert opting for American international Brad Guzan to keep goal at Villa Park this season.
 



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Topics:
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Newcastle United
Shay Given
Aston Villa

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