Tuesday 17 September 2019

Supple earns his call after remarkable journey

Shane Supple. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Shane Supple. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Shane Supple's call into the Ireland squad caps a remarkable turnaround in the player's relationship with football.

Supple walked away from the game in 2009 when he was a first-team player at Ipswich. He had grown disillusioned with the sport and went into manager Roy Keane's office to tell him that he wanted out of his contract.

The Dubliner came home to start a life away from the game, and he threw his sporting energies into Gaelic football and the ambition of representing his native county. He broke into the panel, but was unable to dislodge first-choice Stephen Cluxton.

Supple had contemplated joining the gardaí, but ended up moving into the area of consulting and mentoring budding sports stars. He also ran a goalkeeping academy.

Throughout that time, he rejected League of Ireland offers. But in 2015, he did eventually return to the sport at amateur level with Crumlin United.

There was a twist of fate involved too as an injury had left them short. And they were also able to twist Supple's arm by offering a deal on rent for facilities for his academy.

His performances captured attention and a year later he decided to join Bohemians on a semi-professional basis.

The 31-year-old is an extremely important player for Keith Long's side and has since turned down offers from full-time clubs.

In addition to playing for Bohs, he still does some work with Bernard Brogan's Legacy Consulting and is involved in offering advice to young athletes in a company called aptOn.

Supple also plays senior GAA in Dublin with St Brigid's when his schedule allows it.

But later this week he will be in Abbotstown for an unlikely reunion with Keane, although he will still be able to play for Bohs against arch rivals Shamrock Rovers and fellow squad member Graham Burke on Friday night.

Irish Independent

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