O’SHEA’S ENJOYING TASTE OF GOOD LIFE
CHESTERFIELD’S Jay O’Shea got the taste for Champagne last weekend and it’s only whetted his appetite for more – and another crack at the Premier League.
The Spireites sealed promotion from League Two after victory over Burton last Sunday, with O’Shea scoring twice.
Even boss Paul Cook swapped his tea for tequila in the post-match celebrations, but O’Shea has already lived the high life with Birmingham – albeit briefly.
Nearly five years ago, Dubliner O’Shea made his topflight bow for the Blues against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
What the former Republic of Ireland U21 international didn’t realise is that would be his one and only Premier League outing to this day.
“Who knows if I will play there again? I hope I do,” said O’Shea. “Once you have a taste of it you want more and getting back into League One is the first step.
“It was a brilliant feeling to win promotion and to do it in front of 2,000 travelling fans as well was special. It was nice celebrating in front of them, and we had a few drinks but not as many as everyone would think!”
Since moving to Birmingham in 2009 O’Shea has led a nomadic career, taking in Middlesbrough, Stevenage and Port Vale on loan before earning a permanent deal at MK Dons in 2011.
It’s only now, though, under the tutelage of Cook, that the winger feels at home. “Since I have come over I’ve not really settled anywhere for a long time, but Chesterfield is different,” he added.
“It’s the first time I’ve settled at a club and actually felt a big part of it. At Birmingham and MK Dons I wasn’t playing, but here Paul promised I would play a lot more games and that was that.
“I don’t regret the move to Birmingham, I was there a week and made my debut against Man United. Maybe it was too much of a big step in hindsight from where I was playing (for Galway United).
“I’ve played in every league now, and when I was at MK Dons a few people said ‘I’m not sure about you moving down to League Two’, but I knew with the ambition of the club I would be back.”
Chesterfield’s unwavering passing style has won plenty of admirers this season, not least O’Shea. And the 25-year-old has backed boss Cook to deliver in League One next season.
“We want to carry on progressing,” continued O’Shea.“Look at the JPT (Johnstone’s Paint Trophy), we made it to the final and that’s full of League One teams. We more than held our own and that’s the aim next season, at least the play-offs.
“I was one of Paul’s first two signings, and you can see the team is a lot different now to when he took over. He wanted to put his own style on it, and he has done that. There’s a saying that you can’t pass your way out of League Two, well I think we have and it’s down to Paul.
“It’s not the biggest of squads, and people were questioning whether we would last the distance. The boss sometimes gives us these little criticisms from outside to spur us on and it’s clearly worked.”
CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: Chesterfield’s Jay O’Shea, left, after the Spireites win at Burton