Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Donegal's O‘Shea oozes confidence

To say that Aidan O'Shea doesn't lack confidence is an extreme understatement. He was man of the match in the drawn 2008 All-Ireland minor final against a star-studded Tyrone team, just two days after getting plaster off a broken hand.

But even the towering 22-year-old's laid-back confidence was deflated this year when he feared his season was over. He'd been plagued since last year by the painful groin condition osteitis pubis and, in the final league game against Kerry, he went to ground in Tralee and couldn't get up.

“I had to literally say to Barry (Moran) ‘lift me up here quick!’. It was a long journey home,” he said. “It was that severe it was affecting my day-to-day life and I had to make a decision on my future, so I sent James (Horan) an email the next day to say, ‘look, I'm not playing if we get to the semi-final’.”

Mayo lost that thrilling 2008 minor saga but the Breaffy man epitomises the new generation who seem unencumbered by Mayo's football past.

“I like the big occasions. If you don't enjoy playing at Croke Park in front of 80,000 people then you're in the wrong sport,” he said.

“I've watched 10 or 12 All-Ireland finals knowing I'd be there one day myself. And I'd be quite confident that I'll be there a few more times before I finish as well.”

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