Shay Given enjoys Donegal training

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Shay Given enjoys Donegal training
Shay Given dusted off his Gaelic football skills to take part in training with Donegal’s senior panel on Friday night in Convoy.

Shay Given dusted off his Gaelic football skills to take part in training with Donegal’s senior panel on Friday night in Convoy.

Given was invited to take part by Donegal manager Jim McGuinness.

The 125-times capped Republic of Ireland goalkeeper received no special treatment as he trained with goalkeeping coach Pat Shovelin and goalkeepers Paul Durcan and Michael Boyle before taking part in some small-sided, intense games.

Given received no special treatment from the likes of Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden.

“It was tough - I don’t think I saved too many,” Given said.

“I’m very rusty because I was about 15 the last time I played Gaelic football. The training is fantastic and it’s great to be a part of it.

“The dedication, fitness and work rate they put in is phenomenal. You would go far to see a fitter team in the Premier League. It’s hard to believe they’re amateur with the professionalism of the players and the staff.”

Given then spoke to the panel and expressed his congratulations on winning the All-Ireland in 2012.

“The Aston Villa netminder was present at Celtic Park last Sunday week as Donegal got their Ulster championship campaign off to a fine start with a 1-11 to 0-11 win over Derry.

“They deserved the win,” Given said of that match.

“If they show that in every game they have a real chance of going all the way. Obviously as a Donegal man I’d like to see them going on to win the All-Ireland again.

“There are a lot of good teams there. They set the bar high for themselves now. They were fantastic in long spells of the game and deserved to win the game.

“Jim is a great manager, motivator and psychiatrist all wrapped into one man. He’s a great guy and a great leader for the county. We’re lucky to have him in Donegal.”