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Sunderland give Keiren his cards

KEIREN Westwood is the latest Ireland international to join the ranks of the unemployed as he has been released by Sunderland.

Westwood, 29, joined the Black Cats from Coventry City three years ago but last season was a disaster for the player as he made just 11 league appearances due to injury and loss of form.

The former Carlisle United man also had struggles at international level: having established himself as Ireland’s No. 1 after the retirement of Shay Given he lost his place in the aftermath of the 6-1 defeat to Germany and was overtaken by David Forde.

Out of action since November due to a shoulder injury Westwood knew he was facing a battle to win a new contract and now Black Cats boss Gus Poyet has included Westwood in his end-of-season clearout.

Westwood will hope to find a Premier League club but with concerns over his fitness after being out for so long he may have to settle for a move to the Championship.

A number of Ireland internationals are now on the lookout for a new club after being released. Fulham yesterday confirmed that Damien Duff was leaving while earlier this week Leeds United also released Paul Green.

Sean St Ledger (Leicester), Keith Treacy (Burnley), Liam Lawrence (Barnsley), Andy Keogh (Millwall), Steven Reid (West Brom), Clinton Morrison (Colchester) and Stephen Hunt (Ipswich) are all out of contract.

David Forde (Millwall), Joe Murphy (Coventry), Eddie Nolan (Scunthorpe) and Stephen Gleeson (MK Dons) are the other senior caps who are out of contract but they have all been offered new deals by their clubs.