Irish midfielder David Meyler has announced his retirement from professional football today via social media. Meyler had been without a club since the termination of his Reading contract on July 31st. Meyler’s announcement will come as a surprise to many, with the Cork man only celebrating his 30th birthday this past May.
Meyler will have endeared himself to the Irish faithful following his impressive performances in the green jersey in recent years. Meyler was one of the brightest sparks in the Irish team in the final years of Martin O’Neill’s reign. Meyler accumulated a total of 26 caps, over 7 years, for the Republic of Ireland. He captained his national side in 4 of these 26 appearances, which highlights the esteem in which he was held by all associated with the Irish national team.
Meyler is characterised on the pitch as a midfielder with a high work rate, and wide versatility. His natural position at national and club level has always been in the centre of midfield. However, over his 7 year international career, Meyler was deployed on both wings, and even at the right-back position. Meyler’s teammates, coaches and Irish fans will have appreciated his versatility and willingness to play in whatever role he was needed in over the years. He has exhibited high levels of professionalism over the years.
Meyler began his professional football career, at home, in Cork City, in 2008. However, a player of his quality was never going to go unnoticed for too long. After two senior appearances with Cork City, Meyler was picked up by Premier League Sunderland in 2008. As a member of fellow Cork native Roy Keane’s Black Cats side, Meyler began what would become an 11 year career in England.
Meyler’s career in England was generally spent hovering between the Football League’s top two divisions. After five years with Sunderland, he joined Hull City in 2012, where he made 147 club appearances. Meyler failed to accumulate more than 10 appearances last season, which he spent at Reading, and finally, Coventry City on a loan deal.
Meyler’s final season was hampered by injury which the Cork man has unfortunately deemed to severe to fully recover from. In today’s statement, Meyler declared that “The injuries I sustained to my right knee have eventually caught up with me and I am left with no other option.”
Social media has produced an outpouring of support and gratitude for Meyler following his announcement. Irish fans will be disappointed to have seen the last of the tenacious midfielder in the green shirt, however the disappointment will be eclipsed by gratitude for the service which he has given the Irish national team.
Meyler has been intelligent in the final years of his footballing career, as he has turned another of his hobbies, in gaming, into a second income source. Meyler runs a YouTube channel, which is regularly updated with content primarily based on the FIFA game series. Meyler currently has over 375,000 subscribers on the platform.
Meylers ventures outside of professional football have allowed him to grow an impressive social media presence, which will leave him in a healthy position, and with many potential avenues to explore in his post-football career. Meyler’s intelligence in using his football career, and related interests, to prepare himself for a life after football are commendable. Both on and off the field, this is a professional for young footballers to use as a role model.