Former Chesterfield and Sheffield United star Jay O'Shea is loving life at Brisbane Roar

Jay O’Shea made a big name for himself at Spireites after writing himself into club history.

By Stephen Thirkill
Thursday, 14th July 2022, 9:26 am
Updated Thursday, 14th July 2022, 9:40 am

The skillful Irish midfielder became a firm fan favourite after playing a key role in Paul Cook’s League Two winning side in the 2013/14 campaign.

Now O’shea, who won the League One title with Sheffield United three seasons later, is making a big name for himself in more unfamiliar surroundings.

It came after O’Shea took the brave decision to swap the unpredictable northern England weather for the blazing sunshine of Australia’s Queensland coast.

Jay O'Shea representing the A-League All Stars against FC Barcelona on May 25, 2022 in Sydney.

He put pen to paper and joined Australian A-League side Brisbane Roar in June 2019.

It is a move that O’Shea, who made 181 Spireites appearances, has never regretted.

In fact he readily admits it’s something he wants more of.

"I'm used to the lifestyle now, yeah," he told the YEP’s Leeds United writer Graham Smyth after training in preparation to face Leeds in a pre-season friendly.

Jay O'Shea was Brisbane Roar's 2019 Players’ Player of the Year.

"I mean, it doesn't take long to get used to it, it's very easy to adapt and my wife and kids absolutely love it."

The Irishman was taken by the idea of playing abroad after a successful but intense decade in the EFL and it was then-Roar coach Robbie Fowler who coaxed him 10,000 miles from home.

"I think it was perfect time, off the back of a really good season and luckily enough Fowler was looking for players in the UK.

"The second I got here to train I was just asking how do I stay? How many years until I can get permanent residency? Honestly it was the exact same for my wife. How do we stay? I've still got two years left on my contract and I'm really enjoying it, so hopefully I can play into my late 30s.

"That was one of the things that Robbie used to try and sell it - he said you're prolonging your career, there's only 26 games and with the weather it's not as tough on your body.

“I'd played something like 50 games the season before I came and I haven't missed one since I've been here. I think that's partly down to the demands on the body and going into every game fresh."

And with his natural talent and work ethic, it’s perhaps not unexpected that O’Shea has seen success come his way Down Under.

He won the club's Players’ Player of the Year award in the 2019/20 campaign and signed a new contract in February 2021.

O’Shea also started all 26 A-League games of the 2021–22 season and was named as an A-Leagues All Star for the game against Barcelona later that year.

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