David McGoldrick retires from Republic of Ireland duty

The Sheffield United forward has decided to retire from international football to concentrate on his club career and family
David McGoldrick retires from Republic of Ireland duty

David McGoldrick. Photo by Vid Ponikvar/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland striker David McGoldrick has announced his retirement from international football.

He made his decision in order to concentrate on his club career with Sheffield United and family, an FAI statement said.

The 32-year-old has made 14 Ireland appearances since his debut in November 2014 in a 4-1 win over the United States.

He was in and out of Ireland squads over the subsequent five years until establishing himself as first-choice in 2019 under Mick McCarthy.

McGoldrick scored his only goal for Ireland in the 1-1 draw against Switzerland in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign at the Aviva Stadium in September 2019. 

His performances during the campaign saw him named as the FAI Senior Men's Player of the Year in August 2020.

He played two games under new manager Stephen Kenny, coming on a sub against Finland in September before an impressive performance in the Euro 2020 play-off defeat to Slovakia last month.

He missed Kenny's opening game against Bulgaria due to a long-term foot injury and Ireland's most recent games against Wales and Finland with an abductor injury sustained against Slovakia. 

“When I took over, Sheffield United looked like they were going to qualify for Europe, which would mean extras games. He’s a family man, good-sized family. He’s 32, nearly 33. You wonder whether a player would say: ‘I’ve to focus on my club’. It happens a lot at that age group,” Kenny said of his main striker last month.

“That wasn’t what I got from him at all. I got quite the opposite. He was absolutely desperate to play.

“His relationship with Mick McCarthy, Mick had him at Ipswich and all of that so... When I took over I was wondering in my own head, ‘is he going to relax and take a bit of a back seat, focus on club football?’

“He’s been outstanding ever since he walked through the door and he’s enjoying his football. He’s such an important member of the group. He gives us something a little bit different in terms of our link-up play and the way we play.”

Kenny also identified Ireland's over-reliance on McGoldrick: “We’ve been very dependent on David McGoldrick in the previous campaign. When he was missing, we lost the game. He seemed to be a massive loss, we needed to increase our options in that way.”

McGoldrick's unexpected retirement will likely hasten Kenny's move towards Ireland's up-and-coming strike options, Adam Idah, Aaron Connolly, and injury doubt Troy Parrott, while Shane Long, Sean Maguire, and Ronan Curtis also saw game-time in the last international window.

Ireland face England in a friendly next Thursday, followed closely by Nations League games against Wales and Bulgaria.

Kenny is due to name his squad for those games tomorrow.

The FAI said it would like to thank David "for his fantastic service and wish him all the best for the future".

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