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Supple: Still No Regrets
Thursday, 14th Jan 2016 13:40 by Josh Prenderville

Former Town goalkeeper Shane Supple still has no regrets about his decision to retire from professional football six years ago, he told Josh Prenderville when he caught up with him in Dublin recently.

The former Irish U21 international left the club in August 2009 after having "fallen out of love with the game".

Supple, now 28, is now working as a football consultant arranging trials and contracts for young Irish players hoping to make the grade in England. He has also recently resumed his playing career at amateur level for Crumlin United in the Leinster Senior League.

"Still no regrets! At the time, some of the more senior professionals didn't really care a whole lot whether we won or lost on a Saturday.

"I was thinking 'this isn't what I thought it was, I thought everyone was supposed to be fighting for the cause'. I kept at it but still wasn't really enjoying it," Supple said.

The former Town academy product admits that his decision wasn't an impulsive one, and was several years in the making.

"At the time we were pushing for promotion, it was the 2004/05 season, the year Wigan went up. We were up there and the lads were worried about if they'd get another contract if we did get promoted, and that if we were in the play-offs their holidays were going to be eaten into for a couple of weeks. It was around that time I started thinking about it."

Supple also had spells on loan at Falkirk and Oldham Athletic, but says that neither move helped change his feelings towards the game.

"Even when I went out on loan, people just didn't have the club's best interests at heart. It wasn't really much different and that was difficult for me to understand.

“At Oldham it was the same, even with Joe Royle, the man who gave me my chance and I have so much time for him, but I knew it wasn't going to be the career for me in the end," he said.

Supple, who was a member of Town's 2005 FA Youth Cup-winning side, says he had made his mind up long before Roy Keane took over from Jim Magilton as Blues boss in April 2009.

"I came back for the new season [after being on loan at Oldham] and Roy offered me a new deal, but to be honest I only signed it to get my stuff in order.

“I wasn't nervous because at that point my mind was made up and to be fair to Roy, he was very good in the way he dealt with it.

The former Town shot stopper also recalled the infamous 'army camp' that Roy Keane arranged for the Town squad in the summer of 2009.

"That army camp was probably the most enjoyable time over there! We were split into four teams and I managed to be put into a team with Jon Walters and Gareth McAuley, which I was delighted about, they were decent guys, decent professionals.

"I remember Roy doing the monkey bars, and he came off it and landed on his backside! I remember looking at the boys and we didn't know what to do. Roy got back up again and tried to do it, and I think he slipped again.

“Roy is obviously a determined man and managed to do it in the end, but we had a chuckle about that coming home. Physically, it was so demanding. I remember nearly blacking out at the end of it."

Photo: Action Images

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Wallingford_Boy added 13:53 - Jan 14
Odd that he is now helping youngsters get into the game he hated so much..

spanishblue added 13:54 - Jan 14
Such a shame i recall the second leg in youth cup thought he was fantastic that night,shame the rest did,nt think like him,mind you he,s not to old

BlueandTruesince82 added 14:30 - Jan 14
Interesting comments from Shane there, particularly towards the attitude of some players worried about us going up! That's why I like Mick, if got even a whiff of that kind of attitude he'll get rid.

Seems like a sensible head on Shanes shoulders that would have been useful commodity during 90 mins but it's nice that's he happy with his new career. Good luck to him.

SuperTommySmith added 14:32 - Jan 14
How the hell did you take from this this. He didn't hate the game he hated his colleagues attitudes and became really jaded by the sounds of things.

SuperTommySmith added 14:32 - Jan 14
Wow i can't spell or write sentences that make sense apparently. cba to change it.

Beattiesballbag added 14:35 - Jan 14
"We were up there and the lads were worried about if they'd get another contract if we did get promoted"
Exactly one very good reason to sign hungry younger players, & not older players who just want to see out their last few years with a nice contract.

BLUEBEAT added 14:56 - Jan 14
he assumed all teams were rotten like the core of that particular Ipswich squad. If he'd have tried his luck at a different club, he may still be playing football at a decent level.

fabian81 added 15:36 - Jan 14
This is interesting.i spoke to shane about this myself in 2013 when I was in Dublin he came to the Sherborne game it was sad to hear & a shame he pretty much said the same certain players just wanted the money and didn't care about wearing the badge or care for the fans. He told me he could just stayed for the money but he was more then that and to me that shows you what sort of guy he is.its at every club but what these players should realise is we pay there wages and without fans they wouldn't get payed!

BasingstokeBranch added 15:37 - Jan 14
That was his point though BLUEBEAT. Even when he went elsewhere it was the same.

"Supple also had spells on loan at Falkirk and Oldham Athletic, but says that neither move helped change his feelings towards the game.

"Even when I went out on loan, people just didn't have the club's best interests at heart."

legal_blue added 16:14 - Jan 14
He's confirmed what I've long suspected. Namely, why would a championship level player want to get promoted, when it would mean transfer to another club and all that upheaval? Maybe at Ipswich the players at times have been too comfortable where they are. Understandable where children and families are involved, but that't the downside of football.

There were many seasons when we would inexplicably fade towards the end, not to mention the many abject play-offs we were involved in when we appeared to lose without putting up much of a fight. If anything, it shows the need to have young, hungry players wanting to prove themselves at the highest level.

weevil added 16:41 - Jan 14
Would have been interesting if he had named some names. Who are the likely suspects from that period?

blueboy1981 added 17:20 - Jan 14
Total admiration for the lad being truthful about his 'fellow professionals' at the time.

Football certainly isn't what it was - and in the main (some exceptions) players attitudes and dedication to the cause aren't either.

Certainly makes you think when you 'dig deep' every week, home and / or away, as this game isn't cheap to follow anymore.

Sign of recent and current times.

blueboy1981 added 17:25 - Jan 14
Player's paid far too much is the problem - just who are the MUGS ? - we are, and have been for years.

Especially when you see some of the garbage served up.

It will only get worse, while the turnstiles keep clicking - FACT.

Corrick91 added 17:33 - Jan 14
A lot of respect for Shane. I feel the game is losing Its charisma all the time -Money and agents have turned the sport I love into a business. Think we need to appreciate Mick and the current side, which for me still has an honest 'old school' feel to it.

Mark added 17:48 - Jan 14
It's sad that Supple retired and sad to read about the attitudes of players at the time. What a change-around now though under McCarthy. I kind of get the feeling that club captain Luke Chambers does care!

deliasplums added 18:11 - Jan 14
Visit any place of employment and there will be highly motivated people, those who just turn the wheel and those who are complete shirkers. Why would a football club be any different? Elite players are doing a job, the same as most of the rest of us and will have the same outlook as you'll find elsewhere. Fans think differently because we have an emotional bond.

itsonlyme added 18:17 - Jan 14
I have been McCarthys fiercest critic recently, but you have to say no way would he allow players to play for the club with that dreadful attitude! Disgusted with them, shame they can't be named!

Bluespeed225 added 21:15 - Jan 14
Interesting he thought Macauley a good pro, as I blame him and Norris for the 5-1 against the scum. They knew we were safe, they knew they were off, but did'nt give a toss that night.

MathieandMarshall added 13:07 - Jan 15
remember that Wigan game well. Travelled up there with a couple of thousand other fans in what was a huge 6 pointer at the top of the table. We felt a win there and we would be sure to get promotion. The performance was dreadful !! - all makes sense now!!

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