Q&A with Aidan O’Shea

2 May 2017; Born to Breaffy, bred for Mayo, Aidan O’Shea is pictured at AIB’s ‘Club Fuels County’ launch of the GAA All-Ireland Football Championship. AIB is proud to be a partner of the GAA for 25 years and backing both Club and County for a third consecutive year. For exclusive content and behind the scenes action throughout the season follow on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***


Who has been your toughest opponent and why?

Probably Neil McGee. Simply because he's strong in all aspects of the game: he's deceptively fast, his anticipation of the ball, hard to push off the ball and decent in the air. All-around, he's a good match for myself physically and other aspects. Even training with him for Ireland, he's tough to get a few yards on.

Team you most like to beat?

Oh Jesus! Hmm, it would have to be Castlebar Mitchels. They've had the Indian sign over us recently and they're our local rivals. We've been knocking around the latter stages of the club championship in recent years and unfortunately they've had the better of it. When we do beat them, it's a good day.

Proudest day?

(Blows out his cheeks and laughs) Ah one of my proudest days, because it is fresh in my mind and the occasion it was, was probably the Tyrone game [All-Ireland quarter-final 2016]. There was a lot of pressure personally and collectively.

You did a soccer-style drag back that day?

Flicked it to the left and chipped it... yeah.


Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

My family in general. My brothers and my dad, football has always been in our house, out the back.

From any era, if you could transfer any one player to your county — who and why?

I would have a slight bias and go with Mike Frank Russell. An out-and-out scorer, goes about his business quietly, a serious finisher.

Have you seen any tactical developments in recent seasons — what's caught your eye?

Nothing outside of the... I suppose depending on the opposition, it's probably based more on defence than attack for most teams. Some teams have different sweeper systems, technical differences, but otherwise it's more handpassing, the same stuff and lots of men behind the ball. Nothing huge has jumped out.

What has been your biggest disappointment of your career?

Well losing three All-Ireland finals would be up there!

Which player has impressed you so far this year, from any team?

Standout player I think would be Gavin Doogan of Monaghan, he's been a real find. I saw him play in the first round of the league and he's excellent: his scores and work-rate. A modern-day forward.

Who has given your team the most memorable motivational speech ever — from inside or outside the camp?

I'll go with Tony Scullion's during the captain's run in the middle of Patersons Stadium in Perth before the game against the Aussies Rules boys, who he slagged off a million times.

What's the toughest training camp you have ever done?

Belmullet under James Horan in 2013. It was in the middle of my exams, dogmatic stuff.

Who is the joker on the panel?

Barry Moran. He's been out injured for most of the league but he's announced his return simply with his presence in recent weeks. He never turns off. I roomed with him recently and he's mental, great craic.

Who is the best trainer?

Stevie Coen. Your typical model professional, solid as a rock.

Who is the best dressed?

Jesus there's some dodgy dressers in our place! I'll give the best dressed to my roommate (on the team holiday) in South Africa, David Drake.


Who is the worst dressed?

Definitely Tom Parsons. He definitely wears his auld fella's golf pants to work every day, it's hideous.

Which player loves the media attention?

Definitely Cillian O'Connnor. He's very cute about his media attention. Never tells anyone and then he appears in the paper or social media, so I'll give it to Cillian.

Who is the ladies' man of the panel?

Cillian is probably the biggest ladies' man at the moment, a few pictures flying around.

What player from another sport do you most admire?

Steph Curry, basketballer. Followed him since he was in Davidson College. I think it was my transition year in school when March Madness was on and I was watching him play. This fella was taking the NCAA tournament by storm and I've been following him since.

What manager from another sport do you admire?
Bill Belichick.