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Shay quits Villa over lack of first team football

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Shay Given. Pic: Sportsfile

Shay Given. Pic: Sportsfile

Shay Given. Pic: Sportsfile

SHAY GIVEN has confirmed that he will quit Aston Villa this summer and move on to gain first-team football.

The former Ireland international has a year left on his contract at Villa Park, but following talks with Paul Lambert, where the Villa boss made it clear that next season would see Given start the campaign as back-up keeper to Brad Guzan, Given will leave the club.

"Last Tuesday I had a meeting with manager Paul Lambert and we both agreed that I should be playing first-team football. And that's not happening at Villa right now," said Given.

"I'm not sure what the exact outcome will be, but I'll be looking to join another club next season, whether that's on loan or as a transfer.

"Until this season I've almost always been a first-choice keeper and I'm still very hungry to play. That's why I know I need to make this move.

"There was a newspaper story during the week that I was looking for a pay-off to end my contract with Aston Villa and leave the club, but there's no truth to that whatsoever.

RELIEF

"I didn't even discuss money when I spoke to the manager on Tuesday. The only thing I'm thinking about at the moment is having the opportunity to play first-team football.

"Ideally I'd like for that to be with another Premier League club, but nothing is guaranteed I suppose. I just want to be able to prove to people that I'm still a good goalkeeper," added Given, who made just two league appearances for Villa last season.

"It's a relief to think about moving to a club where I can play first-team football, because I found it hugely frustrating sitting on the bench for most of the past season.

"When you're training all week, but then not playing at the weekend, it's a hugely unfulfilling experience," said Given.

SEASON ENDS ON A HIGH FOR AIDEN

AIDEN McGEADY arrived in Ireland's camp yesterday ahead of Wednesday's friendly against England in high spirits after he enjoyed a successful finish to the Russian league season.

McGeady started the game and also set up a goal as Spartak Moscow ended the campaign with a 2-0 win over Alania Vladikavkav. Spartak finished the season in fourth place with the guarantee of a Europa League slot.

The Ireland international had been faced with the prospect of missing the end of this season and the start of next term as he was initially handed down a six-match suspension following his sending off in a league game earlier this month. But on appeal, that ban was reduced to two games, clearing McGeady to play yesterday.


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