Dunne thinking of calling it quits


Soccer:Richard Dunne is considering his international future with the Republic of Ireland and has asked Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert for advice. Dunne was part of the Republic’s Euro 2012 campaign in which they failed to qualify from their group for the knockout stages in Poland and Ukraine.

Now the Villa centre-back admits he has a hard decision to make in the next few weeks. When asked if he had considered retiring, Dunne said: “Yes, it has crossed my mind a few times. It’s easy after a tournament, the way it has gone, to make a rash decision and say ‘that’s it’.

“But I just have to think about things. I was basically waiting to get back into training with Villa and then have a think, see how I feel. It’s a hard decision, because it (playing for Ireland) is something I love doing, and I had a chat with Paul Lambert about it and asked him about it.

“He said it has to be down to me because if I’m not happy with the decision and I regret it, then it’s no good. I’ve already spent four weeks thinking about it and still can’t decide.”

Shay Given, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane are also thought to be considering their Ireland careers. They, along with Dunne, were left out of the squad for next month’s friendly with Serbia as manager Giovanni Trapattoni explores his options ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.

The Italian hinted that Given is now behind Kieran Westwood in the international pecking order when naming his squad last week, suggesting that the Coventry goalkeeper was in line to start against Kazakhstan when the qualifiers start in September.

He had sent Given a text to say he would not be travelling to Belgrade for the friendly, but had not received any response from the Donegalman.

"I sent him (Given) an SMS 15 days ago and told him my intention," Trapattoni told reporters. "In this friendly game, I want to see Westwood and try the other goalkeepers. We could start Westwood (against Kazakhstan) and Given could help Westwood . . . why not?"

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