Supple Thought Ireland Call Was a Wind-Up
Wednesday, 23rd May 2018 08:52
Former Blues keeper Shane Supple admits he thought it was a wind-up when he was told he had received his first call into the Republic of Ireland squad earlier this week.
The 31-year-old famously retired from professional football when with the Blues in August 2009 aged only 22 before returning to the game in his native Ireland with Crumlin United in 2015 prior to joining his current League of Ireland club Bohemians a year later.
Ireland play France in Paris on Monday and the US at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin the following Saturday.
“Having played under [Ireland assistant manager] Roy [Keane] I just thought it was something tongue-in-cheek that he said,” Supple, who joined Town as an academy player at 15, told the Irish Times.
“When I got the call off [Bohemians manager] Keith [Long] yesterday afternoon to say that the email had come in I told him to stop taking the Mick.
“He sent it on to me then and it was real. This week was mad enough week anyway with the game against [Shamrock] Rovers [on Friday] so I’m trying to keep focused on that.”
Keane was the Town manager when Supple made his long-ruminated-upon decision to retire and subsequently criticised team-mates who he felt didn’t care whether the team won or lost matches.
"When I did walk in that day to speak to him, he was brilliant," Supple added, speaking to the Irish Independent.
"I haven't seen him since and it will be nice to meet up and thank him properly for the way he looked after me and getting me out as quickly as possible. Roy was great.
"I was only there for a couple of months with Roy. There was a lot of fuss at the time. Within a few days, he'd sorted it out.
"I knew it wasn't just our club. I had been out on loan [at Oldham and Falkirk]. I probably never fell out of love with the game. It was the people involved in it who disheartened.”
Supple returned home to Dublin and played Gaelic football for his parish club St Brigids and made a couple of appearances for his county side. He picked up an All-Ireland winner’s medal in 2013 but having been on the bench throughout the campaign.
He says he’s now happy at Bohemians, having turned down offers from full-time clubs, and last month gave up GAA.
"It's not fair on Bohs, they've been good enough down through the last couple of years to look after me and let me play,” he added.
“I knew myself the time was right to go. I want to concentrate on the football for the next few years and give it a right go and look after my body right and get the most of it. It's like a GAA club in a sense, there are people here you trust.”
Supple, who made 36 starts and two sub appearances for the Blues, doesn’t know too many of the Irish squad who he will meet up with on Thursday but there will be one familiar face from his time at Town.
“Jonny Walters stayed with me for three months after joining Ipswich until he got his house sorted,” he said.
“I have a lot of time for Jonny, for the person he is and the player he is so it will be nice to see him again but I don’t think there’s too many others.”
He added: "I'll be going in there and believing I'm the best keeper. But I'm a little bit more relaxed about it than I would have been when I was in England."
Photo: Action Images
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