Ciara Grant says her desire to extend her club career prompted her decision to retire from international football.

The 34-year-old this week announced that she would no longer be available for Republic of Ireland internationals after a 17-year career.

Playing the big teams like the Germans or the French was special. You looked at the quality of their teams and just wanted to do your best against them

Ciara Grant

After making 105 appearances for her country, Grant believes now is the right time to focus solely on Arsenal Ladies.

“I’ve played for my country for the last 17 years and I think that over the years I’ve sacrificed a lot over that time,” she told Arsenal.com. “I felt it was the right time to retire.

“It was a very hard decision. I’ve enjoyed every game that I’ve played for my country and 17 years is a long time.

“Playing the big teams like the Germans or the French was special. You looked at the quality of their teams and just wanted to do your best against them. We never came out victorious against them in any of those games but we did put up some good fights.

“They are the ones that mainly stick out. We’ve played the United States in a few friendlies so it’s nice to go out there and play against top-quality players.

“I want to extend my club career because this is where I’m based and I work for the Club as well. It’s important that I’m fit and stay in good health here. It was easier to retire from internationals than club football.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Nik Brumsack 1 Mar 2013