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25th May 2023

Kyle Coney recalls battle with Aidan O’Shea in 2008 All-Ireland Minor final

Lee Costello

Aidan O'Shea

“It’s no surprise to me that he’s got that confidence back in himself.”

Despite struggling in recent years, Aidan O’Shea has been exceptional this season, and it’s no surprise to Kyle Coney who first faced the Mayo man in 2008.

It was the All-Ireland minor final, and at the time, Coney was Tyrone’s talisman while O’Shea was the main man for the Connacht side.

Since then the Mayo man mountain has gone on Mohave an unbelievable career, winning All-Stars and playing in several All-Ireland finals, but in the past two or three seasons, he’s come under a lot of criticism.

Aidan O'Shea

It seemed like the team didn’t know hot to get the best out of him as he was deployed iso many different positions and roles, but now, under McStay, his job is clear.

In the full forward line he’s a powerful ball winner, he’s fantastic at tackling and pressing the opposition defenders, and against Kerry, he was even king free kicks, something that you wouldn’t expect him to do.

His reputation as an out and our scorer isn’t the best, but Coney reveals that when his Tyrone team met them in that final back in ’08, O’Shea proved that he was more than capable of finding the posts.

Aidan O'Shea

“Aidan actually played a lot of football that year in the middle of the field”, Coney told the GAA Hour.

“He was a scorer as well, the first game went to a draw and he got Man of the Match, kicking a couple of magnificent scores.

Aidan O'Shea

“It’s no surprise to me that he’s got that confidence back in himself. A lot of his football under different managers, he would have played in the middle of the field, centre half back, and of course that famous game where he played full back against Kerry.

“So a lot of his play was behind the ball, he wasn’t getting the opportunities to score – yes he missed a few chances in the All-Ireland final, but if Mayo got to an All-Ireland final, you would be sure that he would be scoring now.

“Throughout his career, me and him would have played against each other for a few years.”

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