Veteran defender John O’Shea has written a heartfelt letter to the fans of the Republic of Ireland ahead of his final international appearance.
Ireland are set to face USA in Dublin on 2nd of June, which will be O’Shea’s final game for his country as he retires from the international stage following 17 years of service.
The 37-year-old has made 117 appearances and even managed three goals during his time with the national team, however after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup the defender announced he will be retiring after the upcoming friendly.
In an open letter posted on the official FAI website, O’Shea reminisced on his achievements in the green shirt while also thanking his previous managers for their support.
He wrote: There have been many highlights, such as leading Ireland out as captain, featuring at two UEFA European Championships, and getting to share a pitch alongside so many committed and talented players over the years.
“It is a similar sentiment with regard to my managers at international level – Mick McCarthy, Brian Kerr, Steve Staunton, Don Givens, Giovanni Trapattoni, Noel King, and Martin O’Neill, they placed their trust in me and I hope that I paid them back in a small way by always giving everything on the pitch.”
The defender then went on to admit it will be an emotional occasion come 2nd June, however, admitted it’s time to move on.
He added: “I have certainly cherished my international career, it will be emotional walking out for the final time in front of the Ireland supporters. But it is now time to say thank you and allow others to lead the team forward, it’s been an amazing honour to wear our green shirt.”
It’ll be hard for Ireland to replace such an experienced and successful member of their back line, however the search for the next John O’Shea begins as the defender will now look to focus on his club career instead.