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Sunday 25 June 2017

Furore hasn't sidetracked O'Shea, says Mayo skipper

Cillian O'Connor of Mayo. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Cillian O'Connor of Mayo. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Aidan O'Shea is experienced enough not to be distracted by 'Selfiegate', according to his Mayo colleague Cillian O'Connor.

The Breaffy man found himself in the eye of a storm ahead of Mayo's Connacht SFC opener against Sligo, all because of critical comments from Bernard Flynn.

The pundit initiated one of the more surreal championship sideshows on the RTÉ GAA Podcast, earlier this month. He described his "amazement" at seeing O'Shea pose for selfies with fans at the end of a recent Mayo/Meath challenge in Mullingar, while his teamates were engaged in a huddle and then warm-down.

But O'Connor believes O'Shea won't be derailed by the furore. "Any human, anyone who is getting some stick that they might feel is unmerited or a bit over the top, it's hard to completely be a robot and block all that out," the Mayo captain remarked.

"Having said that Aidan is experienced, he's been around the block and playing senior inter-county football since he was in Leaving Cert. He's won plenty of things, won plenty of medals.

"Sure, we've come up short last year and in years gone by, but I don't think he's getting sidetracked and spending his evenings going through all that's being said.

"Well I do know - because I'm usually there. He's been focussing on getting his fitness and his training and skills-work right ... I don't think he's going to be delving into finding out the latest dig being thrown at him."

As for the infamous huddle, O'Connor said: "I wasn't actually playing that day because I was carrying a knock. I was up in the clubhouse eating sandwiches ... sorry, I mean drinking protein shakes!"

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