James McClean during today's press conference
James McClean has said that his decision to step away from international football is a personal decision rather than a physical one.
The Derryman has returned to the squad to win his 103rd and final cap in Tuesday’s friendly with New Zealand after announcing last month that he was calling time on his Irish journey.
McClean (34) signed for Wrexham in the summer and has no intention of stopping in that sphere.
In fact, he retains the belief that he should still be first choice for Ireland in his position.
But he is content to draw a line under a very happy time in his life.
“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,” said McClean.
“I still believe I am the best person for the role. I have never doubted myself. I played 46 games out of 46 in the Championship last season, 45 of them starts. Ability-wise, I was second for full-backs in goals and assists, and for most successful tackles in the whole league.
“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. For me now is the perfect time to step away, I have no regrets.”
McClean says his priority now is to give his family a good holiday next summer when that break is always delayed by his Irish commitments.
“I feel grand,” he said, “I’ve no plans to hang up the boots any time soon. I promised my wife and kids, because I’ve never had the summer off in a long time, that we’re going to book Florida and go away for a month, and enjoy Disneyland.
“I’ve never hid the fact that it means everything, the Ireland jersey.Read on belfasttelegraph.co.uk