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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Ireland midfielder bids farewell to promoted Charlton 'after one of the best days of my career'

Josh Cullen is set to return to West Ham United after a loan spell ended with Wembley success on Sunday.

Josh Cullen celebrates after Charlton Athletic's win against Sunderland in the League One play-off final.
Josh Cullen celebrates after Charlton Athletic's win against Sunderland in the League One play-off final.
Image: Tim Goode/PA Wire/PA Image

JOSH CULLEN APPEARS to have played his final game for Charlton Athletic after bidding farewell to the newly-promoted Championship club today.

The midfielder, who’s a member of the Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming games against Denmark and Gibraltar, had been on a season-long loan from West Ham United.

Cullen earned rave reviews for his performances for Charlton as they ended a three-year absence from England’s second tier. Addicks manager Lee Bowyer was understood to be keen to extend his stay at The Valley.

Instead, the 23-year-old will now return to the London Stadium in a bid to make a mark on the first-team at West Ham, where he has a year to run on his current contract.

In Sunday’s League One play-off final at Wembley, Charlton ran out 2-1 winners against Sunderland after Cullen provided an assist for Patrick Bauer’s decisive goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

“Now the dust has settled after one of the best days of my career, I’d just like to say it was an absolute pleasure to play for Charlton Athletic Football Club this season,” Cullen wrote on Twitter this afternoon.

Josh Cullen Cullen training with the Ireland senior squad in March. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“It was important that the club got back closer to where it belongs and we did it by gaining promotion. A massive thank you goes to all the players, staff and fans who were brilliant to me all season. I wish the club all the best for the future.” 

London-born Cullen, who qualifies to play for Ireland via his paternal grandparents, has been on West Ham’s books since the age of nine. At 19, he made the first of nine senior appearances to date as a substitute in a 3-0 Premier League win over Liverpool at Anfield in August 2015.

Last month, Cullen — who has also had temporary spells at Bradford City and Bolton Wanderers — said: “All over my loans, I’ve been trying to improve as a player to try and eventually get back into West Ham’s first-team. That’s the long-term goal.”

A former Ireland U21 captain, Cullen will hope to earn his first senior cap in next month’s double-header of Euro 2020 qualifiers. 

“West Ham want me back for pre-season,” he told the Charlton Live podcast after the win against Sunderland. “I’ve enjoyed a successful season at Charlton but I’ll go back there [to West Ham] in the summer and hopefully hit the ground running.”

Gavan Casey is joined by Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell for a review of the 2018/19 season, and cast an eye forward to next year and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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