Thursday 26 April 2018

Alan Brogan: Aidan O'Shea can improve for round 2 of Kieran Donaghy battle

Mayo's Aidan O’Shea. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Mayo's Aidan O’Shea. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Former Dublin hero Alan Brogan has insisted he wouldn't be surprised if Mayo's Aidan O'Shea is detailed to pick up Kerry star Kieran Donaghy once again in Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final replay.

In a surprise switch, Mayo boss Stephen Rochford sent the Breaffy man in to marshal Donaghy in Sunday's drawn game, a move that has divided opinion.

The Kerry attacker was credited with having a hand in 2-4 of Kerry's total and kicked a point himself with many now expecting Rochford to abandon the experiment this weekend.

However, Brogan sees significant room for improvement in O'Shea and won't be surprised if they persist with the 2015 All-Star forward in defence.

"I think in the week leading up to it he (Rochford) spoke to Aidan O'Shea and said what about this and in his mind Aidan O'Shea would have been visualising these high balls and long diagonal balls, and you could see the one ball that came in in the first half he went for it and won the ball," Brogan told The Throw-In, INM's GAA podcast.

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"Now he should have had a free given against him for a bit of a charge so he was pumped up for that type of ball. But I think he didn't think about the ball on the ground beforehand and he was maybe caught unawares with the amount of ball that came in low to Kieran Donaghy.

"When he turned, Kieran Donaghy couldn't believe the amount of space he had. He nearly looked shocked by the space he had. I think if Aidan O'Shea looked closely at that and changed the way he played, he could still do the job in the air and really improve in how he defended him on the ground, get up alongside him and stop Kieran Donaghy getting that low ball in."

Brogan went on to insist that by playing O'Shea in the full-back line, Mayo could put more pace into the team.

"He's physically strong enough to deal with (Donaghy) and quick enough to deal with him and I don't think he is as important out the field as people might think.

"He went for Donal Vaughan out around the middle and I think the pace he brings around the middle compared to Aidan O'Shea improves the Mayo team."

David Brady, the man credited with first publicly airing the idea of shifting O'Shea to full-back, believes the move worked to a degree.

"The reality is that I thought it was an option and a good option. I did say that from the comfort of the couch it's a lot different to the managerial and backroom decisions that are made.

"Look, I thought it was a good, viable option and I think Éamonn Fitzmaurice said himself said he noted it. I don't know was he listening to me or did he think it up himself that it was an option they had talked about it as a team.

"It worked to the degree that there was no aerial bombardment, which is a key strength of Donaghy's, came in but the other side is the way Kerry played the ball.

"(Donaghy) was excellent and Aidan O'Shea was given the role. Everyone was saying it was a disaster but I don't think it was an utter disaster."


Subscribe to The Throw-In,'s weekly Championship podcast, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every Monday, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé, Brendan Cummins and John Mullane.

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