Footballer who quit for six years after 'falling out of love with the game' called up to Ireland squad

By Stephen Barry

Shamrock Rovers' Graham Burke and Bohemians' Shane Supple have been included in the Republic of Ireland squad to face France and the USA.

Martin O'Neill has retained Burke in his squad following his half-hour cameo in the non-cap friendly draw with Celtic yesterday ahead of next week's fixtures.

Supple has been added to the squad to help alleviate a goalkeeping crisis.

With Darren Randolph, Keiren Westwood and Rob Elliot absent, O'Neill had been relying on Colin Doyle and Conor O’Malley.

However, Supple, who quit professional football in August 2009 having "fallen out of love with the game", has been called up to add to Ireland's goalkeeping options.

Having terminated his contract with Roy Keane's Ipswich Town, he went on to become a member of the Dublin Gaelic football panel during their 2013 All-Ireland success.

Now 31, he returned to the game at amateur level with Crumlin United in 2015, before signing for Bohs the following year.

“I thought that Supple looks imposing as goalkeeper,” said O’Neill after the 2-2 draw at Celtic Park.

“He looked half-decent and it was also good for me to see players live.

“Would he not have difficulty getting off work? Please, don’t get carried away as I might have (Gigi) Buffon ready for it.”

Dundalk 'keeper Gary Rogers was previously called-up by O'Neill but didn't get a game.

On Burke, O'Neill said: “Graham might well have started (against Celtic) only for his club match last night.

“He flew over this morning and only met his teammates in the dressing-room beforehand.

“That shows you he’s enthusiastic about it and certainly didn’t want to waste his opportunity.”


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