Football

Jonathan Walters Has No Plans For International Retirement Just Yet

Jonathan Walters Has No Plans For International Retirement Just Yet

He turns 35 in September but Jonathan Walters has no plans for international retirement.

"As long as I’m needed, I’ll play," Walters told Off The Ball's Keith Andrews Show.

Prior to the World Cup playoff against Denmark, the Burnley striker had it mapped out that he would retire following this summer's tournament in Russia.

"I think the plan was, we were going to get to the World Cup it was going to be great. I probably would have retired at the end of it. It would have been the pinnacle really, getting to a World Cup."

However, the nature of Ireland's exit - that 5-1 defeat to Denmark - and the fact that he could do nothing about it led to Walters feeling he could not end his international career on such a low note.

The way it worked out - you talk about watching games - me and Seamus went to the Wales one, it was unbelievable. I've never been so nervous watching a match.

Then, to the Denmark one, 0-0 away, and think we could bring them home. It just didn't happen and to have such a low like that when you're not playing, I couldn't have left it like that, I don't think and that was a big reason behind it [not retiring].

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Though he hasn't played much this season - injuries have played a part in him making just six appearances in all competitions for Burnley - Walters thinks he can still make a contribution for Ireland. If he did not firmly hold that belief, he says he would call it a day.

"I think I can help, I believe in myself. I think I can definitely do a job and I’m still fit. I still keep my fitness up even though I haven’t played this year a lot - or at all!

"I’m still in good nick and I know my fitness will always be up there. If I’m not running out there I’m on a machine with my arms to keep my lungs going."

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: Tim Krul Hails Exciting Irish Youngsters At Brighton

PJ Browne
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