Shieldsy and Keego. Inpho

'If I'm thinking I’m f*****g Busquets walking around, I’m no use'

Shane Keegan sat down for a hilarious chat with League of Ireland legend Chris Shields in a special episode of The Football Family.

“OVER THE LAST 10 years, Chris Shields has probably been the outstanding player in the League of Ireland,” begins Shane Keegan, in his intro to a very special episode of The Football Family podcast. 

“But far more importantly, he is without doubt the funniest man I’ve encountered in football.”

It would be hard to argue with either statement after listening to the pair share stories for the guts of an hour.

Having won all there is to win in almost a decade at Dundalk, the stalwart played his final game for the Lilywhites at Oriel Park on Friday night ahead of a move to Linfield.  

Shields was given a fitting send-off after the 2-1 win over Derry City as fans lined the streets armed with flares and banners to bid farewell to their loyal servant. 

Keegan worked with the midfielder at Dundalk and less than 48 hours after his last appearance in a white and black shirt, ‘Shieldsy’ kindly agreed to appear on The Football Family, a podcast exclusive to The42 Members.

The wide-ranging interview touches on his early days in football with St Francis, getting an opportunity to play League of Ireland at Bray Wanderers, the move to Dundalk just before the most successful period in the club’s history and his friendship with current Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.

Be warned, there are comical anecdotes throughout as Chris discusses how being funny could get you out of trouble at home, how much of an influence the lads he grew up with in Clondalkin have had on him, the stick he received from opposing fans and his best/worst team-mates down through the years.   

chris-shields-with-fans-outside-oriel-park-after-playing-his-last-game-for-the-club Shields' send-off at Oriel Park last Friday. Ciaran Culligan / INPHO Ciaran Culligan / INPHO / INPHO

At one point, Shane asks how he went being from a young footballer who didn’t have huge potential to one of the most decorated players in League of Ireland history. 

“I don’t know,” Shields replies. “I was so average at Bray, my touch wasn’t great. The thing was I was always fit, I was never lagging in the 90 minutes. I was able to do box-to-box and work hard. 

That’s one thing I took with me in my career — work hard. It’s just how I play. If I’m thinking I’m fucking Busquets walking around, I’m no use.

“I put [the improvement] down to the volume of games that I played. It wasn’t a case of me grabbing a bag of balls at training and going to practice. Things just naturally progressed and playing with better players everyday, I had to be up to that standard or else I was no use.

“I quickly got up to that standard and surpassed it at times as well.” 

To listen to this week’s episode in full, and to get access our other member-only podcasts and more great benefits, join The42 Membership today. Click here for more information.

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