Duggan hangs up Ireland boots

PEAMOUNT United’s Karen Duggan has announced her retirement from international football.

The 27 year old has called time on her international career following the conclusion of the FIFA 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Ireland V Norway 04

Duggan won 35 caps for her country having made her senior international debut against South Africa at the Cyprus Cup in 2013.

"It's with great sadness and joy that I'm announcing my retirement from international football," said Duggan. "I've had a wonderful time playing for my country and I've made some fantastic memories which I'll remember fondly.

"Unfortunately, with the next major championships three years away, I don't feel like I can give 100% for that length of time. With my work-life outside of football, there are a number of other factors which I've got to consider.

"I've given it everything over the last few years but now it's time to focus on what I hope to achieve outside of football.

"That opens up the opportunity to one of the younger generation coming through who will be able to progress and help Ireland qualify for their first major championships.

"Of course, I'll still continue playing with Peamount United in the Women's National League and I'd like to thank Colin Bell and the staff, as well as former manager Sue Ronan, for giving me the opportunity to represent my country.

"Also, I'd like to thank all of my former team-mates, I've made some great friends for life and I wish them all the best in the future.

"Finally, I'd like to thank my family and friends for their constant support over the course of my international career. They've travelled and supported me at a number of matches over the years and it has meant everything to me."

Praising the 2016 WNT Player of the Year, Ireland Head Coach Colin Bell said: "Karen has been a fantastic player for me during my time as Head Coach and I'm sad to hear she's retired.

"She has played in almost every match I've managed and she has been a crucial part of the performance culture we've tried to bring in.

"Karen's commitment to the national team has been fantastic. Despite the pressures of her day-to-day work-life, Karen strived to improve and help the team succeed.

"The improvement from her over the course of the campaign was fantastic and she has been a great role model to the other home-based players."

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