Monday 5 December 2016

Aidan O'Shea: The NFL guys are freaks of nature, they're going to make me look small

Mike Verney

Published 27/01/2016 | 06:00

Aidan O’Shea is pictured ahead of AIB’s ‘The Toughest Trade’ as the Mayo man temporarily hangs up his Breaffy jersey to swap Gaelic football for American football. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Aidan O’Shea is pictured ahead of AIB’s ‘The Toughest Trade’ as the Mayo man temporarily hangs up his Breaffy jersey to swap Gaelic football for American football. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Mayo star Aidan O'Shea will swap Gaelic for American Football next month when he makes the trip to the States as part of AIB's 'The Toughest Trade' documentary.

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O'Shea, an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, has already sampled the "unbelievable atmosphere" of the NFL when attending the clash of New York's Giants and Jets before Christmas.  

After watching the series last year, he will travel with an open mind but despite being a big fish in the GAA pond, the towering attacker will be dwarfed by his new American Football colleagues.

"There is definitely something I'll be able to pick out of it. These guys are freaks of nature so I'll see how I get on because it's a different ball game altogether," the 25-year-old said.

"Even just the pure technique of what they are doing. I'm going to be small basically to be honest about it, I expect to be anyway looking at some of the weights.

"I'm 6'4, some of them could have 20kg on me which is just insane as I'm just around the 100kg mark. You are talking about guys that are my size but 120kg."

The Breaffy forward is unsure of what position he might fill but he thinks he could make a tight end, like New England Patriots superstar Rob Gronkowski.

If roles were reverses, would he take "Gronk" in the Mayo full-forward line? "He can catch the ball. He's an absolute animal and wrecking ball and he could do a job I'm sure if we put him in," he joked.

And do Mayo take heart from Denver Broncos veteran Peyton Manning, who has defied the odds to reach another Super Bowl at the age of 39, as they look to bridge a 65-year gap to claim Sam Maguire?

"Who knows? Yeah we'll see, he's been at a few, we've only been to two finals in the last couple of years but we'll get back there and if we do we'll try and get the job done for sure," O'Shea said.

The two-time All-Star will miss no league action, leaving 24 hours after their second round tie with Dublin, a repeat of last year's epic All-Ireland semi-final.

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