John O’Sullivan: 'I let myself down - there is no blaming Bohs or other people'

John O’Sullivan is keen to take his second chance in the League of Ireland with new club Shelbourne. 

The Dubliner struggled during a turbulent 18-month spell with the Reds’ North Dublin rivals Bohemians. 

And despite having a year left on his deal at Bohs, O’Sullivan opted to move from Phibsboro to Drumcondra to work under Shels boss Damien Duff. 

O’Sullivan has already made his league debut for Shelbourne - featuring in their 1-1 opening night draw against Waterford.

“I have been in the game long enough to know that things change quickly in football,” O’Sullivan said this week ahead of Shelbourne’s home clash against Shamrock Rovers. 

“It is obvious that my time at Bohs was not a successful one. There was a lot of stuff that went on behind the scenes for myself but that is in the past. 

“You try and think in your head about the things you could have changed, the things you could have done better.

“There could have been a lot of things I could have done differently. But I have had a new lease of life here.

“I spoke to Duffer in the off season and we talked about who I am and what I have done in the last 18 months, basically nothing.

“It was a big disappointment to myself as a Dublin based lad who moved home, who wanted to have a successful return home. But it wasn’t a success for me at Bohs. 

“The gaffer made me believe a return to Shels would help me and my career.”

While at Bohemians, O’Sullivan played 37 times for the Gypsies despite struggling with injury and fitness issues.

But he is keen to make amends at Tolka Park.

“It is down to me to prove why I am here,” he said. “The mad thing is - and it is shocking to say, and I am not being big headed by saying it - but I kind of got away with (not being fit) because of the football side of things which is poor from myself. 

“I have had a few things personally going on which I am not going to get into here. I shouldn’t have been as unfit as I was. I got a bad injury at Bohs when I first signed. I was out for a while.

“But ultimately I let myself down. There are no excuses here. There is no blaming Bohs. There is no blaming other people. You look after your own body and your own business.”

And O’Sullivan, 30, reckons his ability to self-reflect means he can rise to his newest challenge.

“No one in this league has actually seen me play five, six, seven or eight games. I spent 15 years in England and I played at most clubs I’ve been at. I've been judged on an 18 month spell. 

“My whole career has just been written off. You know, he's no good. He's overweight, he's X, Y and Z. But that's in the past. 

“I'm looking forward to this group. I'm looking forward to being at Shels and Europe is an added bonus. But you know, I'm excited for where it's going.”

He then added: “It was a massive change in my life to move home and lift my family from England to Ireland. It took a bit of time.

“If you can't self-reflect, you're never going to stay in the game or especially show what you can do. If you can't look yourself in the mirror and go, right, that wasn't good enough for me there, what can I do now to improve it…. 

“Do I stay at Bohs and just sit there and float through the next year and I'll be 31, 32 and then fizzle out? Or do you take a risk and go to a new manager who can push you on and give you that new lease of life? And he ultimately wanted me. 

“There's a reason why he wanted me. He judged me on what I've done in the past. It's down to me now to show everyone what I'm capable of.”