James McClean intends treating his family to a Disneyland holiday next summer as international windows free up following his retirement.
Tuesday’s friendly against New Zealand at Aviva Stadium is due to be his 103rd and final cap for Ireland. The 34-year-old announced his decision to quit last month, on the same day Stephen Kenny dropped him for the double-header against Greece and Gibraltar.
The Derryman will be chasing promotion for the club he joined in August, League Two’s Hollywood outfit Wrexham, but feels he’s still capable of enduring at international level.
McClean had shared the left wing-back duties with fellow veteran Enda Stevens before Callum O’Dowda’s botched audition in Greece and the subsequent capture of the role by Ryan Manning.
“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,” stressed the man who made his Ireland debut in 2012 following his move to Sunderland from Derry City.
“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 for Wigan, 45 of them start.
“Ability-wise, I was second for full-backs in goals and assists, and for most successful tackles in the whole league. There are 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."
Asked if he's interested in a post-career life in politics, a subject he’s got dragged into over his stance on not wearing the poppy, or joining Wrexham owner Ryan Reynolds on the acting stages, he offered an affirmedRead on irishexaminer.com