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O'Shea's switch to full-back was not a surprise to Fitzmaurice

 

By Declan Bogue

Aidan O'Shea going in to mark Kerry's Kieran Donaghy at the edge of the Mayo square seemed like one of those frenzied ideas deployed in a midweek Championship game. But when it came to pass, it didn't catch Kingdom manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice off guard.

"It was a thing we'd discussed, there was a possibility it could happen, that they could match him up with Kieran. We felt maybe it would be down the list of possible options," he said.

It definitely worked out better for Kerry with O'Shea not really suited to the role, but perhaps wishing to tempt his opposite number into persisting with it this Saturday in the replay, Fitzmaurice stated: "I think he did well. He won one or two balls in the first half and rooted away with Kieran, didn't allow him to have a huge impact."

What room there is for improvement in six days is an interesting one. "You need to be decisive alright. Tomorrow could be an interesting day," the schoolteacher smirked.

For Mayo's Stephen Rochford, he explained the O'Shea switch by citing previous examples.

"Aidan has played full-back for us on a couple of instances. Earlier this year, he played full-back for a while against Donegal and Michael Murphy," he said.

"Last year, he played full-back against Kildare. Obviously he has a physical presence versus the physical and aerial threat that Kerry bring in that area. We'll look back on it and we'll see if things worked from it or if we lost something from it."

As for his feelings on drawing an All-Ireland semi-final?

"We're still in the competition. I felt that we had good momentum at one or two stages in the game," he added.

"We conceded goals that we'd be disappointed with. We'll need to review them and see what the sources of them were. We've been down this track a couple of times. A six-day turnaround isn't the biggest deal for us. We'll be back for next week."

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