John O’Shea has no plans to retire at the end of the season
Sunderland defender focused on saving club from Championship relegation
Sunderland and Ireland defender John O’Shea has no intention of retiring at the end of this season. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
Republic of Ireland and Sunderland international John O’Shea has shot down reports that he is to retire at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old from Waterford told the Sunderland website safc.com that he is still enjoying his football and in good fitness as the Black Cats struggle to survive in the Championship.
O’Shea, who has played a part in 30 of Sunderland’s 38 league games this season, said: “I’m fit and well and you can see that by the amount of games I’ve played consecutively this season, especially over the festive period where I played five or six games in 10 days,” said the Sunderland skipper.
“When you retire from playing it’s a permanent retirement and there’s no going back, and whenever I speak to former pros or team-mates, they all say to play on for as long as you can.
“When I wake up in the morning my body still feels good – believe me, if it didn’t I’d be the first one to admit it and finish up.
“There’s plenty of things to look forward to when my playing career ends, from coaching and management to media and punditry work, and spending more time with my family, but my wife is certainly happy I’ve decided to play on for another year”
O’Shea’s one-year Sunderland deal is up at the end of this season and he admitted his concentration is on the fight for survival, with the club currently bottom of the Championship and six points from safety.
O’Shea added: “We have eight games remaining this season and eight opportunities to pick up the points we need to get ourselves out of trouble.
“After that we can sit down and talk about my future, and whether I’m playing here or somewhere else next season.”