Dara O’Shea has labelled the 36 hours in which he became a father for the first time and signed a new contract at The Hawthorns as “hectic”, but also “really special”.
The defender and his partner welcomed the safe arrival of their son into the world in the early hours on Monday morning, before rushing into the club’s training ground to sign all the paperwork on Tuesday afternoon.
And the Irishman insists it’s a period of his life that he will always look back on with incredibly fond memories.
Dara said: “It was a hectic period, that’s for sure.
“My son was born in the early hours on Monday morning and then I came in to the training ground early on Tuesday afternoon to sign my new deal. I brought my partner and my son in with me which was really special.
“It’ll be memories which I’ll have forever and we managed to get some pictures too as a family which was great.
“It’s been a mad week, especially those 36 hours. They were hectic.
“Both mom and baby are doing great. They’re both happy, healthy and back home which is amazing.
“It’s been really special to welcome my son into the world.
“I’ve thrown myself into being a dad, but my partner has been absolutely incredible. It’s a really different experience.”
Dara’s new deal sees him commit his future to the Albion until the summer of 2025 and the 23-year-old says there was never a doubt he would put pen to paper at a place he calls “home”.
“Talks regarding the new deal had been going on for a while. I’ve been at West Bromwich Albion for about seven years and it’s home for me.
“There was never any doubt over if I was going to sign, it was only ever a case of when.
“It means everything to commit my future. It’s the club that gave me an opportunity to come and play professional football.
“I’ve made some great friends here and there are some great people who work at the club.
“The club has been amazing for me and I’m really happy they’ve extended my stay.”
O’Shea has his sights set on a strong season after missing a large part of the previous campaign through injury, and the Republic of Ireland international believes he’s in a “solid” position to produce high-quality performances in the 2022/23 term.
“Last season was really disappointing for me with what happened with the injury. I’m just trying to forget about that now and look forward.
“I’ve had a great pre-season. It’s been really solid and I feel good in myself. I’m raring to go.
“It’s been a good pre-season for the team and we’re all just really excited to get going.
“The gaffer has been good with me since he came in. We’ve spoken a number of times about what he wants from me and what he wants me to do.
“I feel like I can see the picture he has for me and the team quite vividly, which is obviously really exciting for me as a player. I enjoy working with him.
“I want to play as much football as possible this season and I want to be a regular in the starting XI. I’m doing everything I can to make sure that happens.”