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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 25 September, 2018
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Celtic skipper Scott Brown ends Scotland career to focus on the Hoops

‘I wasn’t able to give both my club and country my best and I needed to focus purely on Celtic at this time.’

Scott Brown.
Scott Brown.
Image: Jeff Holmes

CELTIC SKIPPER SCOTT Brown has announced his retirement from international football with Scotland for a second time.

The 32-year-old midfielder won 55 caps for his country across two spells after reversing an initial decision to retire in August 2016.

However, he has decided against making himself available for new Scotland manager Alex McLeish.

“I have spoken to Alex McLeish over the weekend. I really wanted to tell Alex first what I was thinking about things,” Brown said in a statement posted on Celtic’s website.

“Given the demands which are increasing all the time in football and at this stage of my career, I wasn’t able to give both my club and country my best and I needed to focus purely on Celtic at this time.

“The football calendar is more and more demanding now, and in terms of looking after my own body and in interests of my family, I felt now is the right time to take this decision.”

Brown was reportedly unhappy with Scotland’s summer schedule of friendlies in Peru on May 29 and Mexico four days later with Celtic facing potentially four rounds of qualifiers to reach next season’s Champions League starting on July 10.

“It’s not so good for the holiday, but it’s an opportunity to play for Scotland,” Brown said in January.

“It will be good for the new manager, but maybe not so good for the Celtic lads.”

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But McLeish has paid tribute to the retiring international, saying:

“I would like to thank Scott for his dedication to his country throughout his career. I have known Scott for a long time and know how difficult this decision has been for him.

“Scott gave his all every time he represented his nation and his influence on the squad has been immeasurable. He has been a shining example for the younger players in the squad and an influential player in the dressing room.”

© AFP 2018

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