Ipswich keeper Supple quits game

20 August 2009 10:37
Highly rated Ipswich goalkeeper Shane Supple has decided to walk away from football at the age of 22 having "fallen out of love with the game".The Republic of Ireland Under-21 star came through the club's academy and made 38 first team appearances. "Playing professional football is not something I want to continue doing," Supple told the club's website. "As you grow up you realise there are other things in life and to be honest, the game is not what I thought it was." Supple played a key role in Ipswich's FA Youth Cup triumph in 2005, when Town beat a Southampton side that included Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale, and saved a penalty in his last appearance, a shoot-out victory over Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup last week. His first-team opportunities have been limited since Richard Wright returned to Portman Road from West Ham in July 2008. Ipswich have agreed to cancel the Dubliner's contract at his request, and it will allow him to pursue a career outside of professional football immediately. Supple plans to return to Ireland to spend time with his family and consider his options which, he insists, "won't be in football". "There is not one reason why I have made my decision, there are a number of factors," said Supple. "But deep down my heart is not in the game any more and I'm not going to go into work every day trying to convince myself that it is, so it's the right time for me to walk away. "I suppose you could say that I have fallen out of love with the game and when that happens I've always said to myself that I wouldn't hang around." Supple, who had brief loan spells at Falkirk and Oldham, was quick to praise Ipswich manager Roy Keane for the way the former Manchester United midfielder responded to the news. "I want to thank the manager for the support he has given me," added Supple. "He was a bit shocked when I told him and I expected that but he understood my reasons - he's been first class. "People probably think I'm crazy but I'm not going to stay in the game for anyone else, I'm making this decision for myself. "I've worked with some great people in my time at Ipswich and had some great times at the club. It's a fantastic club and I'll continue to follow Ipswich's fortunes." Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg praised Supple for his commitment to the club, both on and off the pitch, over the past six years. "It's obviously disappointing news for us but we respect Shane's reasons for wanting a career chance and we wish him every success for the future," stated Clegg.

Source: BBC_Sport