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03rd Jul 2024

Aidan O’Shea drops major hint about Mayo future

Callum Boyle

Aidan O'Shea

O’Shea has been part of the Mayo panel since 2009.

Aidan O’Shea has hinted that he may still have another year in him.

O’Shea has been a regular feature of the Mayo side since 2009 and eclipsed Sean Cavanagh’s record of 89 games when he turned out for the 90th time against Dublin in the group stages.

Although their season ended with defeat to Derry a fortnight ago, plans are already being made for the 2025 campaign.

The Mayo star, 35, however looks like he wants to be part of those plans and is still playing regularly – featuring for club side Breaffy just a day after losing to Derry.

Speaking to The Irish Examiner GAA podcast, the full forward admitted that he has hopes to carry on playing at the top level.

“You are already plotting and planning about things you want to do. It is 200 odd days until Mayo play again. It is a lifetime in Gaelic football,” he said.

“It is very unusual compared to old system. I think this is a problem across the board in terms of development of players. We would have gone deep into championships and eight to ten weeks later we are back together collectively.

“Whatever bad habits or regressions you pick up, stuff you get away with at club level, it wouldn’t be significant. But we are not back together until December.

“Five months of playing club football where you will always have bad habits that will creep in. It is a long time away. It should be utilised by players to improve but it is a long time away from the environment.

“You have to try and utilise it as best you can. So, we lost last weekend but if you are not turning your mind to being a better footballer or team in 2025 pretty promptly, you will be behind the pack.”

O’Shea can’t imagine life without Mayo

Retirement is a scenario that nobody ever wants to envisage but eventually it happens to all of us at some point.

O’Shea’s age means he is naturally heading towards the latter stages of his playing days but believes he has an advantage due to the surroundings he has familiarised himself with.

He continued: “My life is set up to play football for Mayo. I’m very lucky with the support I have around me, my family and my fiancee that that suport is there.

“I live a stone’s throw from MacHale Park’s gym, a stone’s throw from the pitch. And not every player has that luxury.

“I see some of those players who are travelling up and down to Dublin, and they don’t have that same level of flexibility and convenience, so I’m very lucky that way.”

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