When the Roar take to the pitch on Friday night against Newcastle, it will be a special occasion for talisman, Jay O’Shea who is in contention to play his 100th game for Brisbane Roar.
If he features, the Irishman will join an illustrious group of Brisbane Roar players, becoming the 21st player across the club (men’s & women’s) to feature in 100 competitive fixtures for Brisbane Roar.
Currently in his fourth season with the club, the two-time Gary Wilkins Medallist, O’Shea reflected on what it meant to be a part of the Brisbane Roar and the Isuzu UTE A-League as a whole.
“It’s a massive privilege to make 100 appearances for any club but I’ve really enjoyed my time here so it’s a big honour for me to make 100 appearances for this club,” said O’Shea.
“It means a lot to me, and it will make it even more special if we can get that three points [this Friday night].”
The St Josephs Boys junior joined the Roar as one of several additions in the 2019 off-season, having spent the majority of his professional career in England with a number of clubs that included the likes of Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Bury.
When his contract expired at the end of the 2018/19 season in England, O’Shea was left looking for a club and found an opportunity here in the Sunshine State.
While moving to the other side of the world might have been a massive risk, it was a decision that O’Shea is glad he made looking back on his time with the Roar.
“It was a big move, and the biggest risk is moving your family out across the world and for it not to work out, so I knew when I got here, I had to work as hard as possible to make it work,” O’Shea said.
“For me it was about coming out here, earning as many contracts as possible and to play for as long as I can.”
“There was always risk with the move, but as soon as I got here, I knew it was the place I wanted to be.”
His first appearance came in the FFA Cup [Australia Cup] in the Roar’s Round of 32 tie against Sydney FC.
It was a winning start to his career in orange, with O’Shea part of the club’s first win in that competition in four years as they upset the reigning champions.
“It was a case of trying to gel as quickly as possible, we didn’t know what way we were going to be, it was our first competitive game, ” O’Shea said.
“To take the lead in the first half 1-0, I think Stefan Mauk scored. We made a quick break, I made a run from midfield, and I saw Brad [Inman] step over the ball in the box and I was happy to tuck it away on the left foot.”
Four years later, O’Shea has emerged as one of the pivotal figures for the Roar, acting as the engine in midfield and leading the squad as vice-captain alongside skipper Tom Aldred.
The 34-year-old has experienced the full range of emotions in the Isuzu UTE A-League and has his sights set on adding to the list of honours he has already amassed in his career.
“At the moment for me, it’s about taking each game as it comes. Looking after myself in the best possible way so that I can be available for the team.”
“It’s about being fit for every game and making sure I’m giving everything I can for this club.”
“I don’t feel like I’m slowing down, I want to keep on working hard and doing well for this club. I’ve played in 100 games, but the goal now for me is to go on and play 100 more to be honest.”
Since moving to Australia Jay has been able to make a new home for himself and his family, with the prospect of Australian citizenship on the horizon.
“This definitely feels like home to me now. The club have made me and my family feel so at home from the second we got here and this feels like home now.”
“I went back to Ireland a couple of years ago, and the feeling for me was I can’t wait to get back home, and I was talking about Australia, so we’ve definitely settled here.”
“We’ll be getting our citizenship soon, so that will be great for me and the family.”
Brisbane Roar take on the Newcastle Jets this Friday night at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.
See the match live and exclusive on Paramount+. Kick off at 6:45pm AEST.
Jay O’Shea Stats
Brisbane Roar Men’s Player 159
Debut: 2019 FFA Cup Round of 32 (Sydney FC Away)
2021/22: Isuzu UTE A-League All Star
2021/22: Brisbane Roar Gary Wilkins Medallist
2021/22: Brisbane Roar Players Player Award
2020/21: Brisbane Roar Players Player Award
2020/21: Brisbane Roar Gary Wilkins Medallist
2019/20: Brisbane Roar Players Player Award
Brisbane Roar Centurions
Men: Matt McKay, Massimo Murdocca, Mitch Nichols, Luke DeVere, Henrique, Ivan Franjic, Luke Brattan, Thomas Broich, Matt Smith, Shane Steffanuto, Michael Theo, Jack Hingert, Corey Brown, Jade North, Dimitri Petratos, Jamie Young, Jay O’Shea.
Women: Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Yallop, Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry.