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Blog - Five Aside

Given to make Ireland comeback

Shay Given has performed a backflip on his decision to retire from international football, making himself available again for the Republic of Ireland.

Given, 36, admits the disappointment of losing his position as first choice goalkeeper at Aston Villa has played a significant role in his choice to return to the Ireland squad after stepping down following the Euro 2012 disappointment.

The goalkeeper, who has won 125 caps, has held negotiations with Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni and wants to be considered for a return to the squad at the earliest possible opportunity.

"We spoke on the phone and I explained why I quit in August and why I am now willing to return," Given said. "During a lengthy chat, I told Giovanni that I retired because I wanted to concentrate on my club career.

"I chose to call time on it with a heavy heart but I knew that it was something I had to do for the sake of my club football.

"I had turned 36 in April and in the modern game there are not too many playing for club and country at that stage of life."

Given has not appeared for Villa in a Premier League game since August, after losing his place to Brad Guzan, and his lack of football has forced the change of heart.

"Obviously, since I made that call, things have not gone as well on the club front as I would have liked or expected, and I haven't started a Premier League game since our second fixture of the season," he said. "I knew I was going to miss international football and I suppose that was made worse by the fact that I wasn't playing regularly for Villa.

"So, I began to think about whether I had been too hasty in my choice and started to wonder whether I should reverse it. That's why I felt I had to speak to Giovanni, to tell him how I was feeling and discuss a possible return."


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