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Tommy Dickson/INPHO O'Hara came off the bench to make his senior international debut against Bulgaria last September.
# Keeper of the faith
O'Hara vows to embrace 'new challenges' after eight-year spell at Manchester United
The Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper has commented on his departure from his boyhood club.

KIERAN O’HARA SAYS he’s excited for the next chapter in his career after bidding farewell to Manchester United.

The Premier League giants announced last week that the Republic of Ireland senior international has left Old Trafford following his contract’s expiry.

It brings to an end a long association with the club for the Manchester-born goalkeeper, who has been on the books at United since 2012.

However, having gained considerable experience during loan spells in the Football League, the 24-year-old feels he now needs a guarantee of first-team football. 

“After two seasons playing regularly away from the club on loan, now is the right time to take the natural next step in my journey and move on in order to take the opportunity to continue with what I love doing, which is playing football,” O’Hara said in a social media statement.

“It is time for me to grasp these opportunities and face up to new challenges, which is something that feeds the hunger and desire inside me and excites me for what is to come.”

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Thank you @manchesterunited

A post shared by Kieran O'Hara (@kieran_ohara1) on

Although he didn’t play first-team football at United, O’Hara did experience competitive senior action while featuring 42 times this season for League One side Burton Albion.

He also made 42 appearances during the previous campaign for League Two outfit Macclesfield Town, where he won the club’s Player of the Year award.

At international level, O’Hara – whose grandparents are from Galway – won two senior caps for Ireland in last year’s friendlies against Bulgaria and New Zealand.

As he weighs up his options as a free agent, O’Hara paid tribute to Manchester United for aiding his development over the last eight years.

He said: “I am grateful for each and every opportunity this great club has given me to learn my craft and develop as a player by representing them, as well as gaining valuable experience away from the club with loan spells.

“To travel all over the world representing this massive club and make friends for life has been special, and without doubt one of the greatest privileges of my life so far.” 

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