Thursday, May 30, 2024

Katie McCabe leads tributes as Ireland World Cup hero announces retirement

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SINEAD FARRELLY has announced her retirement from international football. 

The NJ/NY Gotham star declared for Ireland last year after making her return to top level football and won eight caps. 

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Sinead Farrelly has announced her retirement from international football
Farrelly will now turn her focus towards her NWSL career

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Farrelly will now turn her focus towards her NWSL career

But the 34-year-old has now decided to make herself unavailable for Eileen Gleeson’s squad to concentrate on her NWSL career. 

Farrelly said: “It is with a tremendous amount of sadness that I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from international football. 

“Even though I was a latecomer to international football, it meant so much to me and my family. To pull on the Ireland jersey, sing the national anthem and represent the Farrelly family from Cavan (and beyond) was truly special.

“I’d like to thank Vera Pauw and Eileen Gleeson, all of the backroom and support staff, every player who I was proud to call a teammate and, of course, the amazing Irish supporters who welcomed me with open arms.

“To play for Ireland was a dream that came true and it is an experience that I will cherish forever. 

“I got to play in a World Cup but more than that I got to play for this country and I’m just so grateful for having that opportunity because it is one of the greatest honours of my career.”

Boss Gleeson added: “I’d like to thank Sinead for her time representing Ireland and we wish her the very best in her career going forward.”

Katie McCabe paid tribute to Farrelly on her Instagram story.

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The Ireland captain wrote: “Incredible player and special person”.

Farrelly will now focus on the NWSL having returned to top level action last year after seven years away from the game during which time she was the whistleblower about abuse in the US game. 

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The midfielder went public with her accusations of sexual coercion against her former coach Paul Riley in 2022 who was promptly sacked despite his continual denials.

She previously filed a complaint against him while a player at Portland though her public revelation led to a full investigation and lifetime ban from coaching in the NWSL for Riley.

Farrelly returned to football and joined Gotham last year which led to an Ireland call-up.

She made her Ireland debut against the USA last April and also featured in all three World Cup games against Australia, Canada, and Nigeria. 

But a back problem meant she could not travel for Gleeson’s first games in charge though she did feature in three of the Nations League games last year. 

Injury kept her out of action to date in 2024 for Ireland while she has made just one NWSL appearance for Gotham.

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