Young defender O’Shea earns NPL first team squad spot

Joondalup United’s faith in its talented youngsters continues with 16-year-old Danny O’Shea Jr. being handed a senior contract for the National Premier League (NPL).

The giant defender has impressed first team coach Nick Jennings during preseason and returns to the club where he played some of his junior football.

“I was under 20s last season with ECU Joondalup, I got moved in very quickly from the 18s, so this is another step in the right direction for me,” he said.

“A senior contract is something I’ve wanted for the last few years so it’s good for me going forward.”

O’Shea was delighted to agree terms with JUFC who could offer him the chance to play in the first team, and he is keen to make the most of the opportunity.

“It’s a bit more challenging playing with older players but that’s all part of it, I’m getting more and more out of training to be come a better player so it’s all good,” he said.

“I’ve been learning off the likes of Joel [Ledsham] and Luke Serra, and the captain Matty Sparrow so far. I plan to take the season as it comes and I just want to get as much game time under my belt as possible.

“I’ll look to be a regular starter by the end of the season, that’s my aim.”

In 2017, O’Shea was chosen to captain the WA State team that travelled to China for three games against local opposition.

O’Shea’s father, Danny O’Shea Sr., played more than 400 professional games in England for Arsenal, Southend, Cambridge United and Northampton Town, among others, and still runs out for the JUFC Masters side.

The proud parents were understandably delighted with their son’s quick progression to the first team squad, despite some initial reservations.

“Dad at first was unsure whether it was too soon or not, but I think he realised that it was the best thing for me to get as much experience as I can, as soon as I can,” said O’Shea.

“Once he took that into consideration he was really happy for me.”

O’Shea will wear the number 4 shirt for JUFC.