Joey O'Brien said an emotional goodbye to the Shamrock Rovers faithful on Friday night and set his sights on a fresh challenge with Damien Duff's Shelbourne.

The Hoops confirmed last Monday that the 35-year-old defender will not be re-signing for the 2022 campaign as he instead links up with new boss Duff at Tolka Park.

O'Brien signed in 2018, winning two league titles and an FAI Cup under Stephen Bradley. He was given a terrific reception at Tallaght Stadium as Rovers beat Drogheda United 2-1 on a night they finally got to lift the league title. It was the perfect send-off for the former Bolton and West Ham man.

"It's emotional," O'Brien told RTÉ Sport. "It's been a hell of a day really of me. I've got a lot of messages off a lot of friends and players I played with in England and stuff like that.

"Yeah it's been really emotional but for me to finish this way... the manager, the way he's been with me the last week, he's just been class. That's what this football club is all about - it's a class club and that's why it's the biggest cub in the country.

"It's something I'll always remember and something I'm thankful for. I'm a fan of this club. Since I came back from England I wanted to play here, I made no bones about that. This was the only club I wanted to play for.

"Luckily I was able to do that and we've had a bit of success over the last few years that I've contributed to. It's a great way for me to end my career.

"The expectancy at this club is to win all the time. You've got to embrace that. It's a really enjoyable place to play."

Looking ahead to his role on Duff's coaching staff, O'Brien added: "I'm really looking forward to it. It's an incredible opportunity for myself to go and work with Damien and take the next step into coaching.

"Again, it's a fantastic football club. Hopefully it goes well; I'm sure it will. I know Damien, his demands and standards. That's what I want to be part of."