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“Jon Will Still Want To Play When He Is 64!” – O’Neill Expects Ireland Frontman To Stay On

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 11/6/2017 Ireland vs Austria Ireland's Jonathan Walters celebrates scorin

Ireland are in Turkey this week ahead of their first game since the World Cup qualifier defeat at the hands of Denmark. The Boys in Green are set for a new look ahead of the campaign, with the likes of Declan Rice, Conor Hourihane and Sean Maguire primed for prominent roles in the coming years.

Following the retirements of Daryl Murphy and Wes Hoolahan, there is a sense that there is a new era coming. However, not all the elder statesmen from the last two campaigns are set to call it a day.

Jonathan Walters has been a key attacking threat for Ireland under Martin O’Neill, scoring five goals on the road to Euro 2016 and pitching in with a vital equaliser against Austria last June.

Dublin , Ireland - 5 September 2017; Jonathan Walters of Republic of Ireland during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Serbia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

However, the general consensus would suggest that at 34 Walters may not have as much to offer as previously. Nonetheless, the Burnley frontman isn’t giving up that easily.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Turkey tie, manager O’Neill said Walters remains adamant that he has plenty to offer.

“I think Jon would like to continue, depending on how things go in the next couple of months. I think Jon will still want to play when he is 64!

“He was very, very positive a couple of months ago and I met him down in London when he came down to a check up on how is injury was going.

“He’s still pretty keen, so hopefully that keenness will improve as his injury improves.” Quote via RTÉ.

Walters, a fan favourite amongst the Green Army, would certainly remain a popular figure should he stay on and help lead the line in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.