sHAY Given is holding out hope that a big club will decide to come in for him between now and the start of the new season.
The Lifford man, who played little or no first team football at Manchester City last season, says he wants to play first team football in next year’s campaign. And if that means a transfer to another club, he’s willing to consider that option.
Speaking on Highland Radio’s Sunday Sports show, Shay spoke of his frustration at being No. 2 to Joe Hart last year. “All in all, it’s been a disappointing and frustrating season,” he said. “You train everyday to play at the weekend but you know that nine times out of ten, you’re not going to play so it can get you down at times.
“Hopefully something might happen in the next couple of weeks. I don’t really know because I haven’t spoken to the club but we go back training in two weeks time so Im sure it’s something the club will be understanding about. They know I need to be playing football again.
“I just need to get a club really - it’s just about getting the right club and hopefully that will happen. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll just go back to Manchester City and work hard and strive to try and get back in the first team, that’s all I can do.”
In the meantime, Shay is looking forward to a family holiday after a hectic period during which he spent two weeks on international duty and another fortnight on a coaching course in Belfast. “I normally like to get home but this summer, it looks as if I won’t make it home because time’s now against me. After pre-season, I might get a day off and get up there because I always love to get home to see my family and friends.”
The end of season run of games with the Republic of Ireland afforded Given the chance to shine and even though he was without any real game time, he said he felt in good shape for the Macedonia match.
“The two games against Northern Ireland and Scotland were important because they gave me good game time,” he said.
“You can train all you want but you need the matches, you need to get sharp and they were a help going into the Macedonian game. It was a bonus for me that those games were organised. Obviously the biggest game was the Macedonian game - we got a fantastic victory out there which was great.”
Asked if he was happy with his own performance, he said it was just as satisfying that the team played so well. “I had to make some saves when called upon and lucky enough Robbie got two great goals. It was an all round good team performance, it’s a tricky place to go. As you know, in the past, we’ve had some poor results in Macedonia. It was a banana skin and we were happy to get out with the win. We’re joint top in the group now and looking good for qualification.”
Shay also spoke of his disappointment at the decision by so many players not to turn out for the Republic in those series of games. “It was very frustrating from our point of view,” he said. “It was such an important game against Macedonia and I didn’t understand it.
“I said at the time in the media, it was a strange one to get your head around. Things are changing in football, I don’t know why but some people don’t want to play for their country - but I think you should be extremely proud to play for your country, in any sport and that’ll never change.”