Shay Given is the ultimate professional.
Newcastle United were lucky enough to have the best 10 years of the goalkeeper’s career and eight and a half years after exiting St James Park, Given’s ambition and drive is self-apparent.
Shay Given will be a free agent at the end of this month (June) but even aged 41 he is still well up for the challenge.
The keeper saying he would like to get the chance of being a back-up in the Premier League or being number one in the second tier.
However, if he doesn’t get ‘one last hurrah’, Shay Given is looking at management/coaching role, having already got his UEFA A License sorted, the options are wide open.
The only problem as Given sees it, is that with an increasing number of foreign managers coming into the Premier League and beyond, they are also tending to bring in their own coaching team as well from abroad.
Good luck to Shay Given wherever he ends up, if only he had been Newcastle’s keeper back in 1995/96 then surely the Magpies would have being champions.
Shay Given speaking to the Irish Sunday Independent:
“Yes I am 41 but I do feel I could go on for another year, be it as a number two or three in the Premier League, or number one in the Championship.
“There might be one last hurrah, a promotion, just depends what is out there.
“I have no divine right to get a club but if someone came along and it was of interest, it might happen.
“I know the end is near.
“It could be this year, could be next year, but once you do retire, especially at my age, you can’t go back in six months and say ‘I’ve changed my mind and I want to give it another go’ – every ex-player I speak to says continue as long as you can.
“There are a couple of options, which is encouraging. I know if the phone doesn’t ring by the end of the window, then I won’t be moping around because the party is over, but I do feel I could play another year, definitely.
“I think I could do the job (managing/coaching). I have all the qualifications, but they could just sit in a drawer. There are not many English or Irish managers.
“It’s not demoralising, but when you see clubs appointing foreign managers, like Norwich recently, it is a concern for English and Irish coaches.
“There seem to be fewer opportunities and even if you want to become an assistant or a goalkeeping coach, these guys are bringing their own people with them, so there are no jobs out there.”