O'Shea: 'I'm fit and have no intention of retiring'

Former Ireland international John O'Shea

By Staff Reporter

Former Ireland international John O'Shea has rubbished reports he will retire at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old former Ireland international made his position clear when he told the Sunderland website he had no intention of hanging up his boots.

Reports in the British media had reported that the Waterford native will call it a day this summer.

"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 ahead of tonight's crunch Championship clash with Derby County.

"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 contract expires at the end of the season and he said he will sit down with the club then to discuss an extra year.

Meanwhile, Bristol City will be boosted by the return to fitness of Irish international midfielder Callum O'Dowda as they face a Championship clash at Barnsley this afternoon.

O'Dowda made a return to action with the club's Under-23 side yesterday, playing an hour of the Robins' U23 Premier League Cup defeat to Swansea.

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