PA Sport Staff
Former Republic of Ireland defender Paul McShane has retired from playing to concentrate on his coaching career.
The 36-year-old has spent the past season at Manchester United where he was involved in a unique role as an Under-23 player while also coaching different age groups in the academy set-up at Old Trafford.
McShane started his career with the Red Devils in 2002 but failed to make a senior appearance for the club before he enjoyed spells with West Brom, Sunderland, Hull, Reading and Rochdale.
The centre-back, born in Wicklow, made 33 appearances for his national team and will stay at Manchester United as an academy coach working for their Under-18s and Under-23s.
“I’m calling it a day playing now,” McShane told United’s official website.
“I’ve had 20 years playing and I’ve come back into the club as a player-coach in the Under-23s. It’s been a great year and great experience but now it’s time to fully focus on the next stage of my career, which will be in coaching.
“It’s amazing how things work out. It’s a great way to end my career, to come back here and help the future generation with their careers.
“It was perfect, to be honest with you, when this role came about, and I’m grateful to the people who made it happen. I think it’s a great way to end my playing days.
“I am (proud). Sometimes when you’re on the journey itself, you can get lost in it. It’s a career where there’s lots of ups and downs and there’s so many challenges, but now, I think I can look back and have fond memories of different stages of my career.”