STOKE CITY'S Glenn Whelan has been hailed an "unsung hero" as he prepares to win his 50th Republic of Ireland cap.
The 29 year old will clock up his half century of international appearances this evening when he lines-up against Wales in Cardiff and skipper John O'Shea believes the midfielder is fully deserving of the honour.
O'Shea said: "Glenn has been around the squad for a while and he has been doing his stuff for Stoke in the Premier League.
"His 50 caps have come around quick and he is one of the unsung heroes who gets glossed over, but the players appreciate him when we go into tough battles in European games.
"You know exactly what you get with Glenn, he is able to do more than mix it, he can produce brilliant moments passing and shooting.
"He is a valuable member of the squad, hopefully it will go well for him on Wednesday and there are many more caps to come."
Whelan will be joined in the Irish starting line-up for the friendly in Cardiff by Potters teammates Marc Wilson and Jon Walters.