The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Jamie Holt

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.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

CHAM­PAGNE MO­MENT: Ch­ester­field’s Jay O’Shea, left, af­ter the Spire­ites win at Bur­ton

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