IF AIDAN O’SHEA helps Mayo over the line against Dublin in the All-Ireland SFC final next week, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t hang around to celebrate.
The Breaffy man studied at Dublin IT but is happy to be again living and working at home, despite the insane build-up to the county’s second championship decider on the trot.
“I’m finished college. I probably could have stayed in Dublin and worked here but I had always planned on it,” said O’Shea at GAA HQ.
“From the minute I moved to Dublin I was thinking the second I get my degree I’m out of here. Yeah I had football in my mind and I don’t plan on going anywhere for the next 10 years but Mayo. I just find it much easier. My brother worked up here and he is better than me at doing it and he can travel and he’s able to get his stuff done but being at home is just perfect for me.
“I’m working down there and it adds an extra discipline in your life. Work 8-4-30 and get my gym in in the evening.
“I’m very good at disappearing,” he adds. “You have to live normal life. I have people who have no interest in football so I can chill out with them and they won’t even ask the question you won’t block out all the hype, it’s not possible. Some guys hide but I take it as it comes. If there’s someone I don’t want to talk to I won’t answer the phone. If there’s someone on the street I just pretend to answer the phone.”
James Horan’s side go into the final against the Dubs as slight favourites. O’Shea reckons its a role to which the Connacht champions are now used.
“It’s something we have come to expect be it the Donegal game or the Galway game,” says the midfielder. “Coming into that game people were saying Galway should win this and we’re were ‘hold on a second, they shouldn’t be winning this game, we should be winning this game.’ We embrace it, there is huge confidence in the squad because of what we have been through and the additions we have made like Donie Buckley and the way the squad has developed. You look at guys and last year we might have been picking from 19 or 20 players but now we are picking from 26 and that’s huge.
“You saw that against Tyrone, the boys who came on made a massive difference and that’s where the confidence comes from.
Asked if there was any self-doubt, he adds: “You always have self-doubt. There was definitely that in 2010 when things weren’t going well.
“I needed to have a look at myself and look at the things I was doing off the pitch and on the pitch and what I was doing and where I was going. James came in and things have been good. I have the right supports around me.
“I moved to college and I didn’t deal with the transition well. I had been living at home and that’s why I was wanted to go home after college because I found it hard to control what I needed to be doing to be an inter-county footballer. Some boys will laugh at me saying this but I found it very difficult. It’s not that I don’t like Dublin, I love Dublin but maybe for the wrong reasons.
“It wasn’t that I would be out every night of the week, it’s not like that at all. There’s just too much… Walking down the street you could pop in for food here or there. And if I wanted to go to them gym it might take an hour to get there and then you have to park the car and after the session it’s too late to cook proper food. There was too much things that are hard to control and I didn’t like it.”
SuperValu, proud sponsors of the GAA All-Ireland Football Championship, teamed up with Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea and Dublin’s Denis Bastick at the final of the SuperValu Community GAA competition at Croke Park. Four provincial winners Cordal (Munster), Kilanerin-Ballyfad (Leinster), Naomhfeichin (Connacht) and Realt na Mara (Ulster) were pitching to win a bursary of €10,000 to benefit their local club. The overall winner will be announced ahead of the All-Ireland final on 22 September.