Although Stoke City have confirmed that Shay Given’s two-year contract is up – the Lifford native has no intentions of retiring any time soon.
The 41-year-old’s contract is set to expire at the end of June, with six other players also set to be let go.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Given revealed that he has no intentions of hanging up his gloves any time soon.
He says that for a few weeks, he will be spending time with newborn baby Cassie Elsa, and after that he will shift his attention towards finding a new club.
“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’, and every ex-player I speak to says continue as long as you can.
“It is not that far away and I have to get my head around it, but it will be hard to replace that everyday involvement – the craic, the laughs in training, the stuff no one really sees… you must be more prepared the older you get. But once I’m out there, I just love it. The day I don’t is the day to pack it in.
Reflecting on his career, Given discussed how difficult it was to move away from Donegal at just 16.
“I came from a big family and I was living in digs with an old couple in Bishopbriggs, and in that first year the homesickness was really hard. I just kept my head down and tried to get on with it. I won’t forget how hard that was.
“But I know how lucky I am with the stuff I’ve seen in my life, the places I’ve been, playing for my country across the world, the players I’ve played with and against – playing football for a living. That didn’t happen to kids like me.
“Any time I played for Ireland was special because of what it meant to me, growing up as fans with my dad and brothers. That’s something that can’t be taken away from me and goes with me to the grave.
“It’s an honour to represent your country and you’d never think it possible coming from a place like Lifford.”
It is believed that Given may pursue a career in the media as he has already done some punditry work.Tags: