Rochdale have signed former Reading skipper Paul McShane on a short-term contract.
The former Hull City, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion defender was a free agent following his release by Reading at the end of last season after four years with the Royals. The former Republic of Ireland international made one hundred and three appearances during his time at the Madejski Stadium, but only managed to play five times during the 2018/19 Championship season.
Although his game-time was limited in the past two seasons due to injury, he was a crucial member of Jaap Stam’s Reading side which came within touching distance of the Premier League before losing to Huddersfield Town on penalties in the 2017 play-off final.
Having signed the deal, McShane told the club’s official website he was keen to get started and help Rochdale boss and fellow Irishman Brian Barry-Murphy guide the Dale up the League One table. He said: ‘Brian is an up and coming manager and he wants to do things the right way. I want to be a part of something special in the future.’
‘He’s said I’ll enjoy the way they’re trying to go about things. He’s trying to play some really good football and trying to raise the professionalism around the place, and that’s something I pride myself on, trying to be as professional as I can.’
‘I try to do everything I can to improve, and that seems to be the general feel around the place.’
‘The supporters can expect me to give everything I’ve got. It’s just the way I’ve been playing the game my whole life.’
Rochdale host Lancashire rivals Accrington Stanley at the weekend in a game that already has the feel of a relegation six-pointer. Barry-Murphy’s men are currently nineteenth with Stanley only one place above them in the early League One table.
The key to this signing is McShane’s fitness.
If he is injury-free and fit enough to play, this could be a terrific and much-needed signing for Rochdale who have struggled to keep clean sheets this season.
McShane will no doubt be looking to prove his career is not over and earn a permanent deal in January, which should mean he’s motivated to turn in the sort of performances that’s made him a Championship regular for many seasons.