Supple move is waste of a good talent - coach

SHANE Supple's first Ipswich Town goalkeeping coach Malcolm Webster today described the player's decision to quit the game as a 'waste of good talent'.

Elvin King

SHANE Supple's first Ipswich Town goalkeeping coach Malcolm Webster today described the player's decision to quit the game as a 'waste of good talent'.

But Webster, who worked with Supple from the age of 15, says that the keeper's wishes to quit the game and concentrate on other things at 22 must be respected.

“Shane had bags of natural ability and was one of best keepers I have worked with,” said Webster, who coached at Derby and Southampton after leaving Portman Road.


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“I spoke to him yesterday and have been in regular touch with him since I left Ipswich.

“I could not see this coming, but I believe he felt that his opportunities in the game would be limited.

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“Ipswich manager Roy Keane has been very good and Shane appreciates how the club has reacted.”

Having decided to quit a career than most his age would crave for - and a wage that he will be unlikely to match in other spheres - does Webster think there is a chance the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international will change his mind?

“It's hard to say,” said Webster. “He is a bright lad and comes from a really close and pleasant family.

“After a few weeks back in Dublin he might see things differently, but I understand he is considering going back to his

studies.

“He was 15 when he came over and he couldn't play from the January for six months because he was too young.

“We spent hours working on his technique and his spring in that time. He worked hard and technically and ability-wise he was very good indeed although there were a few things he needed to work on.”

Webster, who has worked with Richard Wright, Robert Green, Kelvin Davis and Lee Camp among others as well as a host of internationals on his coaching courses, was with Southampton last season but is now back living in the east midlands.

Supple, who signed a new one-year Ipswich Town contract extension in the summer, played just two Blues first team games in the last two seasons - saving a penalty in a 3-3 Carling Cup draw at Shrewsbury last week when Town won after a shoot-out.

Joe Royle was Town manager when Supple - just 18 - made his debut in August 2005 at Leicester as a substitute for Lewis Price.

Royle took charge of Oldham for the final nine games of last season, and he took Supple on loan.

And like Webster he predicted a good future with keepers not peaking until they reach 30.

Royle said: “Shane was outstanding for me at Boundary Park. I could not have asked for any more.

“From the first time I saw him as a kid when his jersey was too long for his arms I saw him as the natural successor to Shay Given in the Irish senior side.

“Given a free run of injury and given the opportunity, Shane had the potential to become a top class Premier League keeper.”

Keane is working on bringing in cover for Richard Wright although youngster Ian McLoughlin set to sit on the bench.

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