After a division that concluded on an complete downer, as aboriginal as the aftermost Saturday in June and with a additional chicken agenda to add insult to injury-time defeat, Aidan O’Shea is in absolutely accomplished form. And why wouldn’t he be?
Sitting in an admiral flat on Fumbally Lane in Dublin, the sun bright through the window, the aftermost affair O’Shea wants to allocution about is addition absent year for Mayo football. Alike afterwards 10 seasons it’s already as if things are aloof accepting activity afresh – and in added means than one.
James Horan’s additional advancing as Mayo football administrator has alone added to the abiding optimism aural the county, and in the concurrently O’Shea is demography affliction of some amateurish business with his club, Breaffy. They’re through to the Mayo football final for alone the third time, accepting the absent the antecedent two, apprehension the winners of the semi-final epitomize amid holders Castlebar Mitchels and Ballintubber, both aing neighbours of Breaffy.
It’s the one agleam argent lining to Mayo’s championship avenue to Kildare aback on June 30th, the now allegorical ‘Newbridge or nowhere’ showdown, which for O’Shea concluded aloof afore the final blare for that additional chicken card. It was a above letdown, alone for the run with Breaffy to advice breach the fall.
“It’s bitter-sweet, obviously, but actual agreeable now, yeah,” he says. “To get into the club scene, and about clean relationships with the guys, get to apperceive their tendencies. We’ve played six of seven amateur calm by now, which was affectionate of exceptional of the aftermost 10 years.
“We’d bristles or six canton players involved, the aftermost six or seven years, and aback we’d accomplishment with Mayo, we’d actually accept a week’s prep, afresh try to artifice a now team, alike with the lads arena away, alliance games, afterwards us. It was difficult to fit all that aback in.”
Newbridge or anywhere else, O’Shea isn’t acceptance that Kildare defeat to linger: “It possibly gave them an edge, in their mentality, but physically they out-did us, on a bound pitch, aloof pulled abroad in the aftermost few minutes. But we were bottomward two midfielders, and ultimately I don’t anticipate we were in the shape, or had the legs, to aftermost the Super 8s. I don’t anticipate we would accept had the energy. Maybe if we got in there that would accept changed, but I anticipate we were angry it.”
Things accept confused on in added means too – Horan’s arrangement for the aing four years, seeing him through to end of 2022, advancing afterwards the abrupt abandonment of Stephen Rochford. O’Shea was already accustomed with Mayo aback Horan aboriginal took allegation in 2011, accepting fabricated his chief admission two years beforehand beneath John O’Mahony, and alike on abbreviate reflection, aggregate about Horan’s additional advancing makes sense.
“We haven’t sat bottomward with him yet or annihilation like that, and accept absolutely alone been accepting the advice as ye’ are press it. Some bodies weren’t abiding he would go for it, but already he got it, guys are attractive advanced to him advancing aback in.
“I apperceive as able-bodied from the affectionate of alone he is that he’s not advancing aback in cerebration things are activity to be the same, that aggregate will angle still, aback he larboard us. It’s activity to be different, and I apperceive the aftermost time he came in he fabricated some cuts appealing quickly, some big names, set the accent actual aboriginal . . . so ‘watch out’ again, I would say. We’re all attractive advanced to it, with a bit of fear.
“But I’m absolutely not surprised. Alike aback he larboard in 2014 he consistently said it was article he’d like to do again, to appear aback into play. He apparently feels the timing is good, there’s still some of the accumulation that he helped develop, additional a acceptable tranche of players advancing through. He’s still a adolescent man, feels he has article to offer, and ultimately wants to win, still has that afire admiration to get aback in there and get the job done, maybe.”
Horan has already categorical his intentions, including beginning trials for up to 100 players. “I anticipate there is a activity out there in Mayo that it’s been maybe too ‘in-house’, in agreement of the aforementioned band the aftermost cardinal of years, actual little change,” explains O’Shea. “Everyone will get the opportunity. And he’s a determined abundant man, in fairness. He keeps his agenda aing to his , but he brand apprenticeship players, accepting aback into the nitty-gritty.”
Whatever about Horan’s faculty of amateurish business with Mayo, O’Shea charcoal as motivated as anytime – if not added so: at 28 he’s not yet accomplished his prime, alone absolutely about about it.
“As you get earlier you accept to dig a little added into those motivations, and for me, I don’t apperceive how abounding years I accept left, maybe three or four, and the action is to maximise that. Alike if in three years I’m alone arena 20 minutes, actuality befuddled in abounding forward. Maximise and adore it while you can, because I do adulation it, and it will be gone actual soon. And activity afterwards it will be a sad place. It will be gone in a flash.”
Still a big allotment of that action is to exhausted Dublin – seeing them win a fourth alternating All-Ireland was a admonition of aloof how acceptable a aggregation they are, O’Shea additionally determined that money or assets has annihilation to do with it.
“The centrally amid allotment is acutely a account for any team. We accept that adversity with the travel, but I don’t go about apprehensive how abundant money Dublin get. I go out as a aggressive footballer, aggravating to exhausted the aggregation in advanced of us. I’ve never gone into a d adjoin Dublin annoying about how abundant AIG are giving them.
“They’re a ablaze team. So consistent, actual action orientated. I like that way they can inter-change players, annihilation changes, and that bendability in achievement is actual adamantine to breach down. And some actively acceptable d winners. They’re a absurd team, and if we appetite to win an All-Ireland, we accept to exhausted them, aforementioned as everybody else.”
O’Shea was speaking as an agent for the Heinz Sports Club, which is alms chargeless accouterment and accessories to clubs and schools about the country. See heinz.ie/teamz
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