Royle raids former club to sign Supple

JOE Royle has swooped on his old club to make Shane Supple his first signing.

Derek Davis

JOE Royle has swooped on his old club to make Shane Supple his first signing.

The former Blues boss, who has taken over at Oldham, wants the 21-year-old Irish keeper and has been told a deal can be done but only once Ipswich have secured cover.

However, nothing is likely to be concluded today and Supple will take his place on the bench for Town against Burnley tonight but could well make his Latics debut against Tranmere on Saturday.

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Manager Jim Magilton confirmed: “Oldham have made contact and are keen to take Shane on loan and hopefully something will be sorted out over the next 48 hours.

“It is important for Shane to be out playing football matches.”

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Royle made signing a keeper his top priority after loanee Jan Budz, who shipped six goals on Saturday, returned to Hartlepool and regular No. 1 Mark Crossley is out injured for at least another couple of weeks along with back-up stopper Greg Fleming.

Supple was handed his Town debut by Royle in a goal-less draw at Leicester City in 2005, months after winning the FA Youth Cup, and the former Everton boss has never forgotten him.

Royle said: “I have always had faith in Shane. He is a terrific young keeper and I had no hesitation in putting in a call to Ipswich for him. He has been unfortunate not to have played more games but now he is behind Richard Wright who is a fabulous keeper.

“We will give him an opportunity to play first team football and hopefully he will enjoy himself.”

The highly-thought of Republic of Ireland under 21 keeper has appeared just once for Town this season, in the 4-1 league Cup win over Leyton Orient, and came close to moving on-loan to Grimsby a fortnight ago.

That move fell through when a deal to bring in his replacement collapsed but now Town are confident cover will arrive within a couple of days.

Royle is also on the look out for a defender and hopes to add him to his squad that are challenging for the League One play-offs.

He is hoping that a couple of additions will help him take Oldham to yet another Wembley appearance for the man who enjoyed 12 years in charge at Boundary Park before managing the club he starred with as a centre forward and also took them to an FA Cup final.

Royle said: “The chance of a Wembley appearance is a great incentive

“I've seen one or two things I think we can tweak in the team and we'll go from there.”

“I was asked (by Oldham) and they wanted me. I tried for a few other jobs without a reply and I thought they want me, it's nice.

“It's nine games initially, a chance for Wembley, and we'll see how it goes. I like Wembley.

“I hope my record would stand up for me in any case. I hope it's not a case of proving people wrong. The CV is there for people to see and I'm proud of it.”

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