Shane Lowry: I've no Roo regrets
Perth-born Lowry, who played six matches for the Republic of Ireland’s Under-17s and two for their Under-21s, opted to make himself available for the Socceroos in 2009.
He was picked in Socceroo squads that year under Pim Verbeek, missed the final 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup after making a preliminary 30-man team, and was selected for a Socceroo camp in Germany by Holger Osieck in 2011 but has yet to make his senior debut.
Overlooked for recent Socceroo matches, the central defender or left back has made over 60 appearances for Millwall since joining the club from Aston Villa in 2011.
Lowry enjoyed a breakout season for the English Championship outfit in 2012-2013, appearing in 39 league matches and helping the Lions to the FA Cup semi-final, but has had little contact from the Socceroo hierarchy.
“I think Aurelio [Vidmar] came and watched one of my games last year at Hull, but other than that I haven’t had any sort of contact which is a bit disappointing from my point of view,” he said.
“But that’s football isn’t it. I thought I might have had a chance for the game against Romania, because I’d been playing regularly and I’d been playing well. I thought he might pick me in the squad to see me in training. But I’ve still got a burning desire to represent my country and I always will.
“But, you know, with the lads that get picked I’ll always shake their hands and congratulate them. I’m delighted to see some of the younger lads given a go recently, and hopefully that can be me in the near future, if not, in the far future.”
Lowry moved from Perth club ECU Joondalup with fellow Australian Chris Herd to sign with Aston Villa in 2005.
The 24-year old had loan stints at Plymouth Argyle, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Millwall before signing a two and half year permanent deal with the Lions in January last year.
This season he has played six games for Millwall, mostly on the left of defence. Lowry, who has two Irish parents, explained his previous connection with Ireland’s junior international teams.
“My whole family’s Irish, both my parents were born in Dublin,” he said.
“I’ve got a big Irish connection. [Ireland] were aware of me playing for Villa. Coaches and scouts were coming to watch me. Back when I was playing Under-17s and Under-18s, I never really heard of Australian scouts coming to see me in youth team games. I didn’t have any contact.
“So the opportunity came up to play international football and I’ve got a massive Irish background, it’s not like one of my great grannies are Irish. So it was a good opportunity for me. It’s more exposure and you’re playing against the best players in Europe at that age.
"But I still feel Australian. I wanted to play for Australia, hence why I switched allegiance and hopefully one day I can represent Australia.”
If Lowry had continued with Ireland he may have been capped at senior level by now, and could have featured at Euro 2012, but he has no regrets about sticking with the green and gold.
“No, not at all,” he said. “I made the right decision. I always felt I was Australian. People ask me what nationality I am and I say Australian.
"I don’t want to play for another country when I’m saying that. It’s just a gut feeling that I’ve got.”