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Republic soldier on without Given

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14 Aug 2012 07:46:58

Republic soldier on without Given

Shay Given will not add to his 125 caps after announcing his retirement from international football ahead of the Republic of Ireland's friendly with Serbia on Wednesday.

The Aston Villa keeper was already missing from the Irish squad after manager Giovanni Trapattoni opted to rest a group of senior players who were involved in Euro 2012, but Trapattoni has since seen his squad hit by withdrawals.

Stephen Ward and Keith Treacy have joined a growing casualty list ahead of the Serbia game. Wolves defender Ward and Burnley midfielder Treacy have returned to their clubs after being diagnosed with knee and groin injuries respectively, while on Sunday it was determined Wolves striker Kevin Doyle and Stoke defender Marc Wilson were not fit to link up with the squad.

Doyle withdrew with a haematoma, an infected bruise, due to the risk of deep vein thrombosis associated with air travel, whilst Wilson was diagnosed with a potential virus.

Added to the earlier withdrawals of Sean St Ledger (knee), Darron Gibson (thigh) and Wes Hoolahan (Achilles) - the latter pulling out a few hours after his selection - the build-up to the game in Belgrade has not been an easy one for Trapattoni.

When announcing the squad last month Trapattoni took the decision not to include senior figures Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Stephen Hunt, Keith Andrews and Given.

Given has since decided to quit the international scene, saying: "This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make. I have dedicated 16 years of my life to my country, and I have a great affinity with Giovanni Trapattoni's squad.

"I'd like to thank the Giovanni, (assistant) Marco (Tardelli) and Alan Kelly for their support during my time with the team. I will continue to be Ireland's biggest fan, and wish the lads well as they embark upon their new campaign."

It is understood there was a gentleman's agreement the group of senior players would not be included after their participation in Euro 2012.

However, except for Given they will all certainly come under consideration for the opening match of the Republic's World Cup qualifying campaign in Kazakhstan on September 7.


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