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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 09:27 GMT
Given wins Republic player award
Shay Given
Despite Given's heroics the Republic failed to qualify for Germany
Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given has been named as the Republic of Ireland's Player of the Year.

Given won Eircom/FAI award at the Republic's awards night on Sunday.

The 74-times capped produced some remarkable display for the Republic in 2005 even though they missed out on World Cup qualification.

Reading's Kevin Doyle won the under-21 honour, Stephen Elliott won the Young International Award, while Bolton's Joey O'Brien was the under-19 winner.

Given, who pipped Birmingham centre-back Kenny Cunningham and Manchester City defender Richard Dunne to the award said: "I've been nominated on numerous occasions, and I always thought I was just here to make up the numbers.

"But it's nice to get this reward now and I am very grateful."

Looking back on 2005, Given added: "It was good in some ways but not in others, in particular it is very disappointing we didn't get to Germany.

"It's been even more difficult living in England and reading about them in the papers all the time.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow, but now we've the European Championship to look forward to."

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