Shamrock Rovers confirm signing of former Republic of Ireland international Stephen McPhail

34-year-old wants to join his wife and kids in Dublin

Stephen McPhail training with the Republic of Ireland squad.

Stephen McPhail training with the Republic of Ireland squad.

Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 01:00


Shamrock Rovers have confirmed the signing of former Republic of Ireland international Stephen McPhail, who will join up with the club when his short-term contract with Sheffield Wednesday expires in the middle of next week.

The 34-year-old, who made his senior debut in February 1998 for Leeds United – for whom he subsequently played in both the Champions League and Uefa Cup – before stints at Millwall, Barsnley and Cardiff, had been keen to return to Dublin, where his wife and children have lived since last summer.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Sheffield Wednesday,” he said, “(but) it’s been hard being away from the family and not seeing them every day. That was a massive influence in this move, and Shamrock Rovers have some excellent young players. Hopefully I can pass on my experience to those lads.”

The midfielder played around 400 senior games in Britain, as well as 10 for his country. He was fondly regarded at Cardiff, who he captained in the 2008 FA Cup final. However, his latter years at the club were hampered by injury and illness.

Rovers boss Trevor Croly said he was delighted with the signing. “Stephen is a quality player who has significant experience playing at a very high level. He’ll fit in well to the squad we have built for the new season and blends in well with the mix of experience, talent and youth we have put together.”