Republic of Ireland vs USA - John O’Shea has one eye on management

Posted Friday, June 01, 2018 by PA

Republic of Ireland vs USA - John O’Shea has one eye on management

John O’Shea will call time on his 17-year Republic of Ireland career with one eye already on a move into management.

The 37-year-old Sunderland defender will make his 118th and last senior appearance for his country against the United States at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday having already indicated he would like another season in club football when his current deal at the Stadium of Light expires at the end of the month.

O’Shea, who cut his teeth in professional football under the watchful eye of then Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, has revealed there have been no talks yet with the new regime on Wearside and – as he waits – developments, management and coaching are on the horizon.

He said: “It’s something I’ve been preparing for for the last three or four years during the summer, taking my coaching licence with the FAI.

“But it’s a long road and it’s a sometimes treacherous road too, as I have learned the last few seasons.

“If I’ve learned from people that I’ve worked with throughout my career that I could give something back along those lines, I’d be foolish not to because I’ve been very lucky and fortunate to work with some amazing people.”

Back-to-back relegations with Sunderland have provided a stark contrast to his trophy-laden years at Old Trafford, but O’Shea believes that can only be a help.

He said: “I’m sure if you do go down the managerial route or the coaching route, you’ll experience the exact same, plenty of ups and plenty of downs, trying hopefully to keep that levelness about you when you do get the success and failures hit you at different stages.

“It’s how you bounce back from it.”

In the meantime, a player who tasted European Championship glory with Ireland at under-16 level before making his senior debut against Croatia back in 2001, will reflect upon an international career which has taken him to the finals of Euro 2012 and 2016 and left him with a bank of fond memories.

O’Shea said: “Getting to represent your country at major tournaments, they have definitely been some of the highlights.

“Then, on your 100th cap to score a goal against Germany, that’s particularly high on the list, especially for what it meant to keep the campaign going and qualify for a major tournament.

“The moments when you’re in camp and you have that bond with the group that is always so special, that’s something you’ll always treasure too.”

Republic manager Martin O’Neill, who persuaded O’Shea not to retire from the international game after the Euro 2016 finals, paid tribute to his contribution, if in his own inimitable style.

O’Neill said with a smile: “He mentioned the goal he scored. It is 118 caps tomorrow? And he has that fantastic record of three goals, considering the amount of times he went up for corner kicks. I used to tell him ‘Don’t go up, John. Don’t bother’.

“I had him at club level for a little while too and I know people shower praise on someone who’s just about to leave, but he’s been a great influence.”

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