Ireland defender John O'Shea rubbishes rumours he is to retire in the summer

Mon, Apr 02 2018

O'Shea has yet to make a decision on his international future. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick

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Republic of Ireland international John O'Shea has quashed rumours he's set to retire at the end of the season, insisting he's looking to continue for as long as his body holds up.

Media reports last week suggested the Ireland centurion was preparing to call it a day at the conclusion of the English season that could see Sunderland suffer a second consecutive relegation.

36-year-old O'Shea has been at the Stadium of Light since leaving Manchester United in 2011 and captained the side last year as they fell to relegation from the Premier League.

The Waterford native signed a one-year deal with the club at the beginning of the current season but has signalled his intention to continue playing regardless of Sunderland's fate.

He 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.”

“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.”

O'Shea rubbished the rumours in the most emphatic fashion as he added the Black Cats' fourth goal in a 4-1 drubbing of Derby County on Good Friday.

And the Champions League winners feels he has plenty more to contribute before making the final decision on his stellar playing career.

“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!

“First and foremost, I’m concentrating on helping the team between now and the end of the season – that’s the big thing, that’s the only thing.

“Perhaps I didn’t expect to play as much as I have this season, but I know I’m capable of playing week in, week out and I want to help the team so I’m ready whenever called upon.”