O’Shea feels ‘young bucks’ can put it up to Dubs
Mayo forward Aidan O’Shea says he wants to lead his county to a landmark victory over Dublin at Croke Park on Saturday night.
Mayo have won their first three matches in the league for the first time since 2006 and they top Division 1, while the reigning All-Ireland champions have already lost twice.
The 28-year-old Breaffy clubman was handed the captaincy for Mayo’s 1-13 to 0-11 win over Cavan at MacHale Park last time out and he is determined to lead from the front again.
“It’s important for me, whether I’m captain or not, as a senior member of the squad to lead by example,” said O’Shea.
“Especially when we’ve a lot of young bucks knocking around, show the kind of standards around the environment that are positive and the way we should carry ourselves. That’s the way I try and be.
“I had a nice off-season, did a bit of travelling, but I’ve been back to work and you don’t take any time off if you’re a serious inter-county footballer.
“You try to keep yourself in the best shape and we’ve been back training for a good while and we’re in good shape but there’s still loads of gears yet.”
Mayo lost All-Irelands against Dublin in 2013, ’16 and ’17 but with manager James Horan back, the three-time All-Star says this weekend provides a massive opportunity for younger players on the big stage.
“They’ll have no problem. A good few of them have played (at Croke Park) with Westport and boys have played in big games before,” said O’Shea.
“Sometimes naivety is the best thing in the world, when you’re young, go out and enjoy it.
“Whoever is lucky enough to get one of the 15 jerseys will go at it and we’ll do our best to get two points.
“The young lads have brought massive energy and even the older lads coming back.
“We really wanted to set a few things straight after a disappointing year last year, we want to try get back on the right road.
“We’ve got seven new starters in the league. James has changed up the team from game to game which has given the squad a lot of impetus and boys are on their toes and ready to go.”