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Captain Signs Two-Year Contract Extension

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Centre-half John O'Shea has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the club until 2017.

The defender, who achieved his one-hundredth cap for the Republic of Ireland this week in a European Championships qualifier against World Champions Germany - scoring the equaliser in the dying minutes - has added to an already successful few days by signing a extension to his current deal, which was due to run out in the summer of 2015, keeping him at the club until 2017.

O'Shea, who took over as club captain last year when he replaced Lee Cattermole, has had a superb start to the season which has resulted in a very decent defensive record for the lads thus far and has saw us defeated only once in the opening seven league games.

Since joining the club in the summer of 2011 O'Shea has made over 120 appearances as a Sunderland player, most notably captaining his side in the League Cup Final last season. Signed by Steve Bruce three summers ago, O'Shea has been an ever present in the side - rarely missing a game - despite arriving at the club with fans concerned about his past injury record.

The extension of O'Shea deal re-affirms Gus Poyet's desire to maintain the Irishman's presence in our side for the next few years and, as told to SAFC.com, the gaffer is delighted that our skipper has decided to prolong his spell as a Sunderland player.

He said:

"I am delighted that John has agreed to stay with us for at least another two years. He is our captain, one of our leaders and I am sure he will continue to help us get better and stronger as a team. I really look forward to continuing to work with John."

O'Shea said:

"Since I arrived at Sunderland I have enjoyed every minute and I’m really happy that I can continue here for another two years. To captain a club like this and to play in front of our fantastic supporters is a huge honour and I look forward to showing my commitment to the club on the pitch in the years to come."

Although I've not always been O'Shea's number one fan whilst a Sunderland player it's hard to deny that his impact towards the end of last season and at the start of the current term has been vital. The experience he posesses - let's not forget he's won fifteen major honours throughout his storied career - should be welcomed at a time when the club longs for stability in a competitive division.

Good move, SAFC - now let's get Wickham signed up next.