Ireland: Darren Randolph Eyes Shay Given's No. 1 for the Future

Peter CarrollContributor IIIMarch 23, 2011

LONDON - APRIL 12:  Darren Randolph of Charlton Athletic in action during the Coca Cola Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Southampton at the Valley on April 12, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Darren Randolph has declared himself ready if Giovanni Trapattoni needs to call him into action against Macedonia this Saturday in Ireland’s crucial European qualifying match.

The Dublin man has been in dynamite form at Motherwell, setting a club record for most clean sheets in a season with 15, including a 2-0 win against league leaders Celtic.

“It’s just good for a manager to show faith in you and give you the chance to play, which is exactly what Craig Brown and Motherwell have done for me,” said the goalkeeper on his newfound confidence.

“It’s good to be at a place where you’re wanted, and the No. 1 jersey is yours to keep and yours to throw away.

“I’m just enjoying playing week in—week out.”

The Motherwell keeper is predicted to go into Saturday’s clash as the second choice to Kieren Westwood for the boys in green, but he insists that he will perform if he is called into action.

“I’m confident if I do need to be called upon, I can do the job,” said Randolph.

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The SPL player also highlighted that despite his respect for the veteran Irish goalkeeper, he also accepted that through Shay Given’s injury, he has been handed a golden opportunity to impress Trapattoni.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anybody,” he said with regard to Given’s injury, “but it’s now given me the chance to come in and stake my claim.”

Randolph admitted he will look to showcase his skills in training to keep himself in the thoughts of the Ireland boss.

With it being late in the Donegal man’s career, the keeper’s jersey will be up for grabs soon, and the 24-year-old wants to put himself in contention for it.

“Hopefully, I’ll just train well this week and keep in the boss’s thoughts, so he’ll keep me in mind for future games,” he said.

When asked if Alan Kelly and the goalkeeping coaches had told them what is expected of them, Randolph said: “No, just come in and train—and stop goals going in.”

The young goalkeeper is from good sporting stock; his father was one of the first American basketball players to come over and ply his trade in Ireland.

Randolph was also a talented basketball player in his time, and he suggested that this was why he was so good at dealing with high balls coming into the box.

“I’d be struggling if it wasn’t a good part of my game,” he laughed. “It should be from the basketball.”