Claire Shine: “I don’t think I have a tear left inside of me” 

The Cork star, 27, retired today after playing her final game for Glasgow City in their two nil victory over Hearts
Claire Shine: “I don’t think I have a tear left inside of me” 

Claire Shine of Cork City WFC shoots to score her side's first goal of the game past Brooke Dunne of UCD Waves during the Continental Tyres FAI Women's Cup Final match between Cork City WFC and UCD Waves at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

AFTER ten years, seven senior Ireland caps, and hundreds of goals; Douglas woman Claire Shine has hung up her boots.

The striker bowed as a substitute in the 75th minute during Glasgow City’s 2-0 victory over Hearts on Sunday in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

She left the pitch at full-time surrounded by her team-mates and young girls, who ran over to say goodbye one last time to their goal scoring hero.

In Glasgow, Claire is a champion who helped bring untold honours to Petershill Park on the north-side of the city.

She knows what she has achieved and she also knows that retirement is the right decision.

“It was emotional, I’m not going to lie. I don’t think I have a tear left inside of me,” she said.

“It’s been difficult. It has not been an easy decision. 

Hair today, retired tomorrow: Republic of Ireland WNT Squad Training
Hair today, retired tomorrow: Republic of Ireland WNT Squad Training

"It’s something I have been thinking of for quite some time, I’m in a position where I know what I want to do after football. I know where I want to go and what I want to achieve.

“I have to put myself first and put my happiness and wellbeing first. 

"Unfortunately it did not go the way I had planned, it’s just time for me to open that new chapter and go after the other things that I want to achieve."

Claire will now continue to work with Glasgow City Foundation, a job she has worked in for the last eighteen months.

“I’m the Project Co-ordinator for the club,” she explained.

“I go in and out of schools promoting women’s football and Glasgow City.

“It’s really good and it is something that I enjoy. The kids have been great and I’m looking forward to doing that in a full time role and going into as many schools as I possibly can.” 

That is the future. Sunday is all about Claire and her family, who stood by her through everything.

“I wasn’t expecting that to be quite honest,” she took everything in one last time.

“It was really emotional, and I saw my brother was really emotional. It’s a massive day. 

"My family have watched me play football my whole life. For the last 22 years I have dedicated my whole life to football.

“It’s going to be a massive change and a massive step. I’m ready for that new adventure and I’m really looking forward to putting the head down and giving myself that time and commitment to other things that I want to do.” 

Claire Shine at the of launch her book 'Scoring Goals in the Dark' at OVO Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Claire Shine at the of launch her book 'Scoring Goals in the Dark' at OVO Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Claire’s achievements include scoring the winner for Cork City in the final of the 2017 FAI Women’s Cup and knocking in the decisive goal of the 2019 Scottish Women’s Cup final in injury time.

She also stood with members of the Irish Women’s national team in 2017 when they threatened strike action in Liberty Hall in Dublin.

Emma Byrne said they were ‘fighting’ for the future of women’s football. Claire was front in centre with her team-mates and together they brokered an agreement the FAI.

The team are now one game from qualifying for their first ever World Cup, and that day at Liberty Hall is held up the moment when everything changed for Irish women’s football.

“I achieved a lot over the last number of years and it’s only now that I look back on it that I go ‘wow’ I am really proud of what I have achieved,” she remembered.

“Other stuff that been shared on social media, the videos and the messages, I’ve been reading through them over the last 24 hours. 

"It has been emotional, especially today. I’m going out in a good place. I’m happy and really mentally strong at the moment. 

"There were times in the past when I had to dig deep to get myself to where I am. I’m just appreciating and grateful for everything that football has given me and sport in general.” 

She smiles at the idea of going back Douglas Hall and linking back up with club stalwart Noreen Martin, but her focus now is on life away from football.

“I know Noreen Martin would love to take me back but for now, it’s not really an option. 

 Claire Shine, Cork City about to cross this ball watched by Chloe Moloney, Peamount in their FAI cup match at Bishopstown, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Claire Shine, Cork City about to cross this ball watched by Chloe Moloney, Peamount in their FAI cup match at Bishopstown, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

"I just need to put myself first and give myself time to recharge. There’s a lot of things that I want to do. I want to travel. 

"I want to do different courses and upskill my mind a little bit more.

“Who knows, I might play for a Sunday League time in a couple of years. 

"Professional sport is something that the demands and the expectations, and the way that the sport is going, is something that I struggle with. I don’t want to put my body or mind under that much pressure anymore.

“It’s time to dedicate my time and my efforts to something else.”

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