Supple's shocking Ipswich revelation

SHANE Supple has revealed that some of his former Ipswich Town team mates “didn't really care whether we won or lost” during his time at Portman Road.

SHANE Supple has revealed that some of his former Ipswich Town team mates “didn't really care whether we won or lost” during his time at Portman Road.

The goalkeeper, who last month shocked the club and its supporters by announcing his retirement from the game, has lifted the lid on his life as professional player.

His revelation comes on the day that Ipswich, without a win in six league matches so far this season, face Nottingham Forest in a crucial Coca-Cola Championship encounter at Portman Road tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).

Supple, who has already re-entered education, denied that his decision to quit the profession that so many youngsters crave had nothing to do with the arrival of new manager Roy Keane.

The 22-year-old told a national newspaper: “People said I couldn't get on with Roy, but if that was the case then I'd have gone to another club.”

Supple, who has returned to his native Dublin, said that he could see young players getting sucked into a lifestyle that was not for him.

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He said: “Even if I could have afforded to drive a Bentley, that's not what I was in it for. Some seem to think it's about flashiness, the big house, big money, cars. That wouldn't be my take on things.

“I remember Joe Royle (who was then the manager) saying that some of them think they're stars and they're not even players.”

Supple, who signed a new one-year contract with Ipswich in June following Keane's arrival, revealed that doubts about his lifestyle as a professional footballer started to emerge just a few months after making his debut at Leicester City as an 18-year-old in 2005.

“The decision was brewing over a number of years. The first time I thought this might not be the thing for me was the Christmas of 2005. That was my first Christmas away.

“My dad came over for the Boxing Day game and I remember saying to him then 'I don't think this is the thing for me. I don't like what I'm seeing'.

“When you're a young lad your one aim is to get into the first team. You're in digs, you're training, you're resting, all you're looking at is the first team. Being away from home can be difficult on top of that, but at first it wasn't a problem for me.

“Then I got into the first team and I saw that some of the lads didn't really care whether we won or lost. I didn't really like that, that was disillusioning. Things weren't going great at the club at the time, which I suppose didn't help, but it made me question whether this was what I wanted to do.

“I was 18. That was when it started to creep in. I was in the team as well, so it was a strange one. The season finished and the manager, Joe Royle, left. The same feelings were in the back of my head and I nearly did it then.

“I thought, 'I'll go home, this isn't for me'. But I stayed, probably for the wrong reasons, for other people. But I didn't want to let people down.”

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