James McClean could be in line for sensational Republic of Ireland return after talks with John O'Shea

Photo showing James McClean
-Credit: (Image: INPHO/Bryan Keane)


Interim Republic of Ireland boss John O'Shea has held talks with James McClean which could see the Derry man make a sensational return to the international set-up. McClean called time on his Ireland career last November after wining his 103rd cap in a friendly against New Zealand.

Speaking at the time McClean said the way it ended for him left a "sour taste" in his mouth. But after a terrific campaign with Wrexham, which saw the Welsh side earn promotion to League One the 35-year-old could be set to pull on the green jersey again.

O'Shea, who played alongside McClean at international and club level, has recalled fellow thirty-somethings Robbie Brady and Enda Stevens in recent months. And while McClean is not involved in this current international window the door is open for a recall.

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“I spoke to James. I know James well from his young Sunderland days, I spoke to him because I know the type of character he would be, desperate to help out if possible,” O’Shea said. “But I spoke to him and was congratulating him with the season he had with Wrexham, but I said look, just go and enjoy your summer.

"If he's obviously showing what he can do later on next season, we can deal with that. But for the summer I said I was largely going to focus on the squad that I have picked for the two games with maybe one or two others as well.

“James will never consider himself officially retired. I'm sure he's so proud to represent Ireland, but for me it wasn't going to be the case that he was going to be involved. He's incredible, the way he looks after himself. I picked Enda and Robbie and I know they are in their early 30s but we need some more younger players.

“Ryan (Manning) is obviously 28, we need more younger ones to keep kicking on and producing as well, whether it be Anselmo García McNulty who is doing well, obviously there's Tayo Adaramola, Alex Murphy, there's some good kids coming along but we just need them to take the next step and if they can kick on too, it will be important.

“They (Brady and Stevens) might have felt the chance to turn out for the Irish team might have passed them by again. It's always important to see players that have been really committed and had excellent careers, that when they are showing good form it's important that it's recognised as well. I know the type of characters they are to help out in the team and the group to get us that winning mentality and get us winning games again.”

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