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This Shane Supple Story About Roy Keane Makes For Interesting Reading

NORWICH, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 22: Ipswich goalkeeper Shane Supple gestures instructions to teammates during the Coca Cola Championship match between Norwich City and Ipswich Town on April 22, 2007 at Carrow Road in Norwich, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Shane Supple is a name that will ring a few bells with both football and GAA fans.

Supple is a former Ireland U-21 international goalkeeper, who came through the youth system at Ipswich Town before deciding to pack it all in at aged just 22, having “fallen out of love with the game”.

After coming home he became a part of the Dublin senior football panel and captained St. Brigids to a Dublin Senior Football Championship in 2011.

More on Supple’s story can be read here.

Supple is now back playing soccer for Crumlin United in the Leinster Senior League.

Speaking about his time at Ipswich, he recalled an incident from the pre-season of 2009, after Roy Keane had taken over as manager.

After a pre-season friendly defeat, as Shane recalls, Roy brought the team into the wilderness to undergo a two-day ‘army style’ training camp with the British Royal Parachute Regiment.

“On the night we had to camp out and kill and eat our own dinner. We had a couple of chickens we had to kill, so that was interesting – we had to pull the heads off them. I know the meaning of a headless chicken now, when he’s running around for another 30 seconds,” Shane recalls.

However, that’s not all. There were training drills organised, which Roy got involved in – with interesting results.

“There was a team obstacle course – I got put into a team with Jon Walters, which was great. But I remember Roy going around doing the monkey bars and he came off it and landed on his backside. I remember looking at the boys and our jaws dropped, we didn’t know what to do.

“Roy got back up and tried to do it, but he slipped again. Roy’s obviously a determined man and managed to do it in the end but we had a chuckle about that coming home!”

Roy Keane slipping off the monkey bars is surely an image that will stay long in the memory of any soccer fan.¬†It wasn’t all laughs from Supple about Keano though, as he admitted that the Cork man dealt with his decision to retire¬†excellently.

“I came back for the new season and he offered me a new deal. At the time I think I was only one of three offered a new deal, and there were 13 of us out of contract, so he obviously saw something in me,” he remembers.

“I only signed it to get my stuff in order though, to be honest. I knew I was going to pack it in. In August I decided to go in and speak to him. I had a chat with him and to be fair to the man he was very good in the way he dealt with it. He let me go straight away.

“I think he was surprised, though – he said to me that he thought I’d be the last person to want to do that,” Supple adds.

So, there is a softer side to Keano after all – let’s just hope he won’t need to climb any monkey bars in France in the summer.

Josh Prenderville, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.