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O'Neill to leave Shamrock

Shamrock Rovers have confirmed manager Michael O'Neill will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the month.

Thursday's final Europa League Group A match against Tottenham at Tallaght Stadium will therefore be the last at the helm for the 42-year-old, who is understood to be interviewing for the Northern Ireland job this week.

A club statement this afternoon read: "Shamrock Rovers can confirm that manager Michael O'Neill will leave the club when his current contract finishes at the end of December."

The statement continued: "The club would like to thank Michael for the great success he has brought to the club during his three-year tenure at Shamrock Rovers, and we would like to wish him the best for his future career.

"Everyone at the club is focused on Thursday night's big Europa League game against Tottenham Hotspur at Tallaght Stadium, and the club will not be making any further comment on this matter."

O'Neill has made a big success of his time at the club, winning back-to-back League of Ireland titles and the 2011 Setanta Sports Cup, before qualifying for the Europa League with victory over Partizan Belgrade in the play-offs.

In doing so his Rovers side became the first League of Ireland team to reach the group stages in Europe.

Earlier this year he had seemed eager to extend his contract but recently admitted managing his national side was an "attractive" option.

Shamrock midfielder Rohan Ricketts wrote on Twitter on Monday: "Terrible news about the gaffer leaving at the end of the season. Major loss for this club in a few ways. Back to back leagues and the Europa League. I hope all you Shamrock Rovers fans give Michael O'Neill the send [off] he deserves against Spurs on Thursday night."

Rovers skipper Dan Murray told BBC Northern Ireland: "He said he was telling us so he could focus on Thursday's game and make sure we do ourselves justice. I was pretty surprised myself because we've had a pretty good year but it's one of those things."

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