DON THE WARPATH; EXCLUSIVE Kids Are More Interested in Boot Deals Than Cleaning Boots - Givens
Byline: By CIARAN O RAGHALLAIGH
WHEN STEPHEN Ireland's family tree was being uprooted last September, a particular insight to the troubled player's mind was to be found on his website.
The Premiership star rued how he became "stuck doin' football", as the game he excelled at made him public property.
Admittedly, he didn't hate it enough to push back the weekly 30 grand plus cheque that would keep most people his age in haircuts for life.
Don Givens, however, sees Ireland merely as proof of a lack of love for the game among younger players.
The Republic's caretakerboss refused to select Ireland for November's visit to Wales.
He then repeated that act this week as he prepares for the friendly against Brazil in 10 days, hoping against hope the player himself would initiate contact.
Givens said: "Stephen Ireland has had his problems, everyone does, but you get blips along the way and you work through them.
"You'd like to see some movement the other way.
"Maybe I'm old fashioned but I think it's special putting on that green shirt.
"Maybe something has changed. …