Wes Hoolahan announces Ireland retirement

Ireland midfielder Wes Hoolahan has announced his international retirement.

The 35-year-old, who has spent ten years at Championship side Norwich City, won the last of his 43 caps in the 5-1 World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark at the Aviva Stadium in November.

He is the second Ireland stalwart to quit in 2018 after Nottingham Forest striker Daryl Murphy announced his decision last month.

Hoolahan told The Herald: “It wasn’t an easy decision to make, to retire, but I feel it’s one I had to make and this is the right time to do it.

“It’s a mixture of things that led me to make this decision but mainly age, I will be 36 soon, I’ll be 38 when the next Euros come around, so it’s time to move aside.

“I had a great two campaigns with Ireland and the Euros in France was an amazing experience,

“I spoke to Martin O’Neill last week and he accepted my decision. He didn’t try and talk me around, he knew my mind was made up and it was time to go.”

“Even to play for Ireland once is the dream when you are a kid. I always said to myself, I would love to play for my country, even once, to see what it’s like and always have that on my record so to get as many caps as I did, I can feel very happy about that.”

Capped at U21 level for Ireland in November 2002 while playing at Shelbourne, the Dubliner had to wait six years for his first senior cap as a substitute in the 1–0 friendly win over Colombia at Craven Cottage.

Hoolahan scored three goals for his country, including one against Sweden at the Stade de France in the Euro 2016 finals group stages.

He also provided the assist for Robbie Brady’s late winner against Italy that sent Ireland through to the last 16.

Hoolahan remains under contract with Norwich until this summer.



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