Date: 1st March 2006 at 11:50am
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Toon goalkeeper Shay Given has admitted he expected to be named the new captain of the Republic of Ireland, but the job has gone to Robbie Keane. Given was named Ireland’s player of the year for 2005, but new boss Steve Staunton has gone for the Spurs striker.

Given: ‘You would be disappointed if you weren’t selected. But Stan [Staunton] explained to me what way he wanted to go, and that he wanted me to help out in any way I could, and I’ll do that.

‘I’ve no problem with that because Stan’s the manager and he makes the decisions. I’ve still a big part to play, which is probably why he gave me the vice-captaincy role. As far as I’m concerned Robbie is a great choice. He is a fantastic player, and I’m sure he’ll be a fantastic captain for years to come.

‘He will be a leader on and off the pitch, and I’ll help him and Stan out as best as I can.’

‘Just to put the armband on for five minutes would be a fantastic honour because to lead your country is one of the biggest achievements of your career.’