Latest Millwall international earned it – boss Harris

NEIL Harris said Shaun Williams' first appearance for Ireland was "fully deserved" – but felt it could have come sooner.

Williams played 59 minutes for Martin O'Neill's side in a 2-2 draw against Celtic in Scott Brown's testimonial on Sunday.

Williams, 31, became one of the oldest players to make a first international appearance for Ireland. Former Millwall goalkeeper David Forde was also 31 when he got his first cap against Norther Ireland in 2011.

Harris believes Williams' call-up reflected the midfielder and Millwall's excellent season in the Championship.

"It's fully deserved. It's great recognition for him," Harris said. "He is a very proud Irishman and it was a very proud day for his family and friends in Ireland.

"I thought it could probably have come around a bit earlier. But then we were in League One until last year so maybe that wasn't the standard they were looking at.

"But he has proved himself after a successful season in the Championship playing regularly for a club that was also successful.

"There's pride for me and my staff. We work hard to try to develop players and add value to them.

"If there is a window of opportunity for my players to go and play international football I'm always supportive of that."

Williams will find out on Thursday if he is in the squad for friendlies against France and the United States, and a shot at winning a first cap proper.

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly