Former Republic of Ireland under-21 international Jay O'Shea has signed for the Shakers on a two-year deal, after coming to the end of his contract with League Two side Chesterfield.
The 28-year-old started his career at St Joseph's Boys, a youth team located in Co. Dublin before joining Home Farm FC of the Leinster Senior League.
After his spell with Home Farm, Jay moved on to League of Ireland Premier Division side Bray Wanderers, where he stayed for two seasons, before moving to Galway United, where he spent a further two seasons and finished as Galway's top scorer during the 2008 season.
The form he displayed with Galway United earned O'Shea a move to then Premier League side Birmingham City in August 2009, signing on a two-year contract. Just six days after arriving at the club he made his debut in the English top flight, coming on as a substitute against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
After a series of loan spells at Middlesbrough, Stevenage and Port Vale, O'Shea joined MK Dons in 2011 after impressing manager Karl Robinson, whilst on trial, earning him a one-year contract with an option for a second year. O’Shea featured 52 times for the Dons during his 18-month stay, netting eight times in the process.
In November 2012, O'Shea joined League Two side Chesterfield on loan until 5th January 2013. On 11th January 2013, Chesterfield announced that they had signed the winger on an 18-month deal after his contract with MK Dons was terminated by mutual consent.
He was a member of the Chesterfield squad which gained promotion from League Two in 2014 and, during his four years with the club, O'Shea scored over 40 goals in 161 starts. On 24th January 2017, Jay joined Sheffield United, on loan until the end of the 2016-17 season.
He made 10 appearances for the Bramall Lane side, scoring three goals against Swindon, Oldham and Port Vale, helping the Blades romp to the League One title. On his return to the Proact Stadium Jay was released by Chesterfield. However, he was offered a contract by Blades' boss Chris Wilder but, subsequently, opted against signing a two-year permanent deal at Bramall Lane.
Since then there has been a number of clubs vying for his signature and Shakers manager Lee Clark spoke of his delight at being the club who enticed O'Shea to put pen to paper saying:
“I am thrilled to have captured Jay. It's been a long time coming and it's meant some hard work, but it's been worth it. He's had a lot of interest from other clubs after having a fantastic end to the season with League One champions, Sheffield United. Each game he played in they never lost.
“He's a creator and a scorer of goals, and he proved that at both Chesterfield and Sheffield United. He's an exciting and impactful player who can play just off a striker or out wide.
“It's really exciting to have a player of his quality - a signing like this shows that we are targeting the right type of player.”
Today, we spoke with Jay who added:
“I met the Gaffer and then I came to see the training ground. I was very happy with what the Gaffer had to say to me. Then, speaking to the Chairman and hearing the project that was put across, that excited me, and it was something I wanted to be a part of.
“It would be nice to replicate what happened at Sheffield United here next season. It's going to be a tough league, but the Gaffer is trying to put together a strong enough side to challenge for the top six and, hopefully, that's what we'll do.
“I want to be playing every week, so when I got the chance to come to the club and, hopefully, play a lot of games next season, that was a big reason for me coming here. I'm just looking forward to getting started.”