Midfield maestro McCann quits playing

Grant McCann celebrates his Posh goal in the League One play-off final success at Old Trafford.
Grant McCann celebrates his Posh goal in the League One play-off final success at Old Trafford.
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Peterborough United’s midfield maestro Grant McCann has formally announced his retirement as a professional footballer.

In a widely-anticipated move the 35 year-old has decided instead to concentrate on his coaching career. He has been appointed assistant to new manager Dave Robertson for the 2015-16 League One season when he will be in charge of first-team coaching.

McCann made 577 career appearances for eight clubs after starting at West Ham in 1998, scoring 105 goals. He also made 39 international appearances for Northern Ireland, scoring four times.

The set-piece specialist made 185 appearances for Posh after moving to London Road from Scunthorpe United in May 2010. He scored 35 goals, most famously the third goal in a 3-0 win over Huddersfield in the 2011 League One play-off final at Wembley. McCann also scored in both legs of the play-off semi-final aagainst MK Dons that season.

McCann fell out of favour with then Posh boss Darren Ferguson last season when he made just eight appearances for the club. His last was against Scunthorpe on November 1.

McCann said: “I look back on my career with great pride as there have been so many highs. I won promotion three times and on each occasion it was a great feeling.

“I have also been fortunate enough to represent my country on 39 occasions, but now it’s time for me to concentrate on being the best coach I can to help the young lads at Peterborough, a club I love, flourish.

“I want to deliver massive thanks to all the clubs I have played for and I give my biggest thanks to Harry Redknapp who gave me a chance all those years ago.”

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony added: “Grant has been one of the best signings made in the nine years I’ve owned the football club. Since day one he has been a model pro on and off the pitch and you couldn’t put a price on the experience he has brought to our dressing room, not to mention his contribution to some of our best moments promotion-wise, Wembley-cup win wise or playing in the Championship against all the odds.

“I look forward to helping him grow his coaching career which will only emulate if not surpass his playing career.”

McCann also played for Livingston, Notts County, Cheltenham, Barnsley and Linfield.

A tribute to Grant McCann will appear in Thursday’s Peterborough Telegraph.