West Brom defender Dara O'Shea said he is relishing to play Premier League football next season after his team recently won promotion to the topflight of English football.
Speaking on Off The Ball, the 21-year-old Dubliner who recently won the young player of the season prize at West Brom, spoke about making a name under manager Slaven Bilic, and adapting to life in the UK.
“It never really dawned on me to be homesick. I went over with a lad from St Kevin’s, so we had each other over there. The digs family I lived were unbelievable and they really made me feel at home. I was really lucky and grateful.”
The Republic of Ireland under-23 player said going out on loan to Exeter and Hereford allowed him to play more matches, develop as a player, and put his name out there rather than sitting on the bench.
“I think as a young player you need to go on loan as quickly as you can. You see so many players sitting around until they’re 23 years of age and if they’re released, other clubs won’t pick them up because you have no experience.
“On loan, you get experience. You’re putting yourself up against men. It tests your mentality and I would really advise you to get out as quick as you can on loan.”
O'Shea said playing matches on loan allowed him to push himself to the limit and developed him in a way that he will be able to compete next season in the Premier League.
“It’s crazy, I keep thinking to myself that it’s happening. To become a Premier League player and to see yourself on Match of the Day is the pinnacle.
“Each year it’s been a different challenge for me. This is the greatest league in the world with the greatest players.”