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Jan 7, 2013

Given considers Republic of Ireland return

Aston Villa keeper Shay Given is considering coming out of international retirement for Republic of Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria in March.

Given, 36, called time on an international career that saw him collect a record 125 caps for his country after Ireland's disappointing performances in Euro 2012 - but it now appears he may not be ready to bow out on such a low note.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni is short of proven keepers and has turned to Sunderland's substitute keeper Keiren Westwood at the start of his 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

He would doubtless welcome back a veteran who would add some much-needed experience.

Given's first team chances at Aston Vila appear to be slim, with manager Paul Lambert having put his faith in American Brad Guzan, and he may view an Irish return as a chance to relaunch his flagging career.

"I haven't decided and I haven't spoken to the manager and I want to speak to him first before I make any kind of announcements, but it is something I am looking at the minute," Given told the Irish Examiner.

Trapattoni had previously suggested that the former Manchester City stopper could be used in a mentoring role for the likes of Westwood rather than as his first-choice keeper if he opted to continue his international career.

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