Kenny's final dance and McClean's last game

Nov 20, 2023 18:44 By Dave Hooper
Kenny's final dance and McClean's last game
Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
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James McClean set to retire from international football after New Zealand game

Stephen Kenny faces his final dance as Republic of Ireland manager as New Zealand visit the Aviva Stadium.

James McClean is set to make his final appearance in a green shirt with the Derry man set to retire from international football. However, McClean’s final game is overshadowed after Ireland’s poor Euro qualifying campaign.

"We played Holland the other night and they are one of the best teams in Europe” explained Kenny. “People will have their own opinions on it but I thought it was a good game of football”.


“Holland were the better team but we fought to the end of that game” added Kenny who is now out of contract.

“It was a tight game in Holland that we lost 1-0 and deserved to lose. It was one of those games, I think with a bit of perspective on that”.

"We've got one missing from the squad really, Nathan Collins has an ankle ligaments injury” revealed Kenny. Whereas, Evan Ferguson is fit enough to be included in the squad.


“The squad is as it is otherwise. We'll see today but I think Evan seems to be ok and he'll be included in the squad”.

James McClean's last game

"If it is my last game, so be it” explained James McClean. “Regardless of what decision is made and if there is a new manager to come in after me, I’ll wish them well, and I’ll wish the team well moving forward.


“I will be honest with you. It's not because of my body, or I feel my ability has diminished. I still feel as fit as ever” added McClean. McClean went on, “I still believe I am the best person for the role. I have never doubted myself”.

“There's other factors. I have personal reasons and my own reasons for stepping away, I feel now is the right time to step aside. Let others come through, I've had my time, I have no regrets”.

Republic of Ireland v New Zealand


Tuesday, November 21

Aviva Stadium, Kick-off: 7.45pm

Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)

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