'He was brilliant' - Shane Supple ready to thank Roy Keane for support over Ipswich exit
Shane Supple will report for Ireland duty tomorrow and start by thanking assistant boss Roy Keane for his support when he quit professional football in 2009.
Keane was Ipswich manager when Supple went to him to say he wished to terminate his contract because he was disillusioned with the sport.
He came back to Ireland to pursue a life away from the game in addition to throwing his energies into the GAA.
Supple only returned three years ago with Crumlin, and joined Bohemians a year later. The 31-year-old has been given a shock call into the squad for the friendlies with France and the USA.
"When I did walk in that day to speak to him, he was brilliant," said Supple. "I haven't seen him since and it will be nice to meet up and thank him properly for the way he looked after me and getting me out as quickly as possible. Roy was great.
"I was only there for a couple of months with Roy. There was a lot of fuss at the time. Within a few days, he'd sorted it out."
Supple had been turned off by the culture of football, the individualistic cut-throat nature which he contrasted from the world of GAA - his first love.
"I knew it wasn't just our club," he said. "I had been out on loan. I probably never fell out of love with the game. It was the people involved in it who disheartened."
He fulfilled his ambition to get involved with the Dublin GAA team and has a medal from 2013 but he was understudy to Stephen Cluxton and says he doesn't count that as a personal win.
The highlight of his GAA career has been his club experiences with St Brigid's, who won the Dublin championship in 2011 and narrowly lost a Leinster final. Supple played for Brigid's as recently as April but says he has now packed it in to dedicate his time to Bohs.
"It's not fair on Bohs, they've been good enough down through the last couple of years to look after me and let me play. I knew myself the time was right to go. I want to concentrate on the football for the next few years and give it a right go and look after my body right and get the most of it."
Supple has spurned offers to leave Bohs for full-time clubs and says the community environment around the club has made it the most enjoyable period of his career. "It's like a GAA club in a sense, there are people here you trust," he said.
He will catch up old Ipswich friend Jon Walters tomorrow along with some more familiar faces. And he will feel he belongs. "I'll be going in there and believing I'm the best 'keeper," he said. "But I'm a little bit more relaxed about it than I would have been when I was in England."