Lions midfielder after starring for Ireland: 'If you can play for Millwall, you can play for anyone'

SHAUN Williams started his first international game a month before his 32nd birthday and said: "Keep striving for your dreams."

Millwall midfielder Williams scored on his competitive debut for the Republic of Ireland when he grabbed an excellently-taken consolation in a 4-1 defeat against Wales in a Nations League game last week.

And he followed that up with an accomplished performance partnering Burnley's Jeff Hendrick in midfield in a 1-1 friendly draw in Wroclaw in Poland on Tuesday night.

He now has three caps for his country.

"I'm 32 next month and I've only come on to the scene in the last few months. To anyone who thinks it's over, it's not. Just keep striving for your dreams," Williams said in The Irish Sun.

"I've enjoyed it, it's a long time coming and I'm just trying to learn.

"I'm enjoying every minute of it, really. I'm just trying to make the most of it as well as I can.

"I was pleased. I feel I could have got on the ball a lot more but due to their [Poland's] tactics, it stopped me from doing so.

"Hopefully I've done enough to cement a place in the team. I'll try my hardest every week to get there."

Williams was on the radar of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill before the Lions were relegated from the Championship in 2014-15.

Millwall's surge towards the play-offs in the second half of last season brought him back into consideration.

"I think if you can play for Millwall, you can play for anyone" he continued.

"It's not the easiest place to play, if you can thrive under the pressure of playing at Millwall, you can do it anywhere."

It was a good week for Millwall's Irish players, after Aiden O'Brien scored on his debut against Poland.

Williams added: "I'm proud of my performance and proud of Aiden.

"He's a natural goalscorer. He's the best finisher at our club. I don't know how he does it but he gets goals most weeks. Credit to him. I thought he was unbelievable.

"He was fantastic, trying to hold the ball up as much as he could against two centre-halves.

"I thought he acquitted himself very well, ran his heart for the team and that's all he can ask for."

O'Brien said: "On a personal note, to get a start I was over the moon, family so proud.

"I wanted to get out there and work for the lads. To top it off with a goal, I'm so proud. I'm speechless."

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly