John O’Shea has recalled how Roy Keane and other senior players taught him a harsh lesson when he was a youngster at Manchester United.
The Waterford man had just got into the first team squad and had to meet his teammates at Old Trafford the night before a game to head to the team hotel.
O’Shea was running late and just made it to the bus on time or so he thought.
The former defender told the UTD Podcast: “I’ll always remember, one of the first times, I’d just moved house and I’d never left from the house to meet up at a hotel the night before [a game].
“And we had to be at Old Trafford for say about half-six so I’m thinking I’ll leave at six, plenty of time, there’ll be no dramas but obviously it’s Friday evening, there’s a bit more work traffic, a bit more whatever else.
“So, I’m starting to sweat a bit here but I’m thinking, thankfully, the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] wasn’t going to be there, he was going to meet us at the hotel.
“So, I’m still barely in the first team, trying to put the foot down but staying in the speed limit of course so I can get there.
“Next thing, it’s like 6:28, I’m thinking this is getting close here. It’s like 6:30 and I’m pulling in type of thing and the bus is still there, pure relief.
“Next thing, I can see the bus moving and I’ve not parked the car yet, I’m nearly in. But then the bus is gone.
“So, I can see Roy and a few of the senior players and I’m thinking they’ve done me here. So, I’m panicking, thinking will I drive the car back? We were staying in Alderley Edge at the time, so I’m thinking what am I going to do here?
“Quick little panic and then I thought, right, I’ll leave the car here and get a taxi and I’ll still get to the hotel in time.
“Roy was teaching me a bit of a lesson there and, to be fair, it was my own fault. I should have known, prepared better, known the distance from the house.
“The next day, I can’t remember who we were playing but Roy mentioned it to me again and I’m kind of like, ‘oh my god’.
“It was a lesson, my own fault and you hold your hands up kind of thing, but I was more worried about the bus and then the senior lads were like ‘ah, we’ll teach you a lesson, Sheasy’.
“That’s the way it was, it served me well. Those things, you have to be on top of.”
O’Shea says both Keane and Denis Irwin were a huge help when he was coming through at Old Trafford.
He added: “Two fellow Munster men helped out. It was brilliant. They did [always make sure I was okay]. Obviously, Denis would have done it in a different way to Roy, if you know what I mean, but in a good way.
“His [Keane’s] approach was straightforward – to see if you’re any good and then if you are, you’re alright type of thing!
“It was straightforward for me because I was starting to make inroads a little bit with the Irish teams as well and it was amazing for me to have them to look up to.”
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