Date: 18th January 2006 at 3:08pm
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Shay Given is being tipped as the next captain of the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland’s new goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly believes Newcastle’s number one is the perfect candidate to take over from the now retired Kenny Cunningham.

Kelly: ‘The decision rests with Stan, and the general consensus would be an outfield player as captain, but Shay is a strong character and you need that. If you’ve got somebody who is respected on and off the pitch, and is one of your main performers, then why not?

‘Shay is also never too far away from the play, and as a goalkeeper you can see the whole picture, in particular defensively. He is a great lad, and the way he has gone on to become a world-class ‘keeper over the last few years has been absolutely amazing.

‘He is at the peak of his form and among the top three in the world, if not at the top, in my opinion.’