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Former Member Of Jim Gavin's Dublin Staff Slams Aidan O'Shea In Newspaper Interview

Former Member Of Jim Gavin's Dublin Staff Slams Aidan O'Shea In Newspaper Interview
By Gavin Cooney

If you miss today's Sunday Independent today, don't worry: you'll find parts of the sports section pinned up on dressing room walls across the country for a while yet. Neil Francis' column will be found within the inner reaches of the RDS for the next year, while an interview conducted by journalist Paul Kimmage will be floating about Mayo for some time.

Kimmage sits down for an interesting interview with Monaghan's Fergus Connolly, who has toured much of the western world as a sports scientist and performance consultant. He is now working with Jim Harbaugh and the University of Michigan, having previously worked with Liverpool, the Welsh rugby team, and the Dublin footballers.

He walked out on Liverpool to join Jim Gavin's Blue Revolution, and talks with great enthusiasm about the entire set-up, which he regards as the best staff that he has worked with. He worked with the Dubs between 2012 and 2014, before moving to America.

Now in the States, Connolly speaks openly about Gaelic football, and poor Aidan O'Shea is once again the target of some serious criticism.

Bernard Flynn found fault with O'Shea's taking photos with young supporters after a recent challenge match with Meath, and Connolly is equally harsh in his criticism of O'Shea and, by extension, Mayo.

Channeling the spirit of a 1951 priest, Connolly tells Kimmage:

Write this down! Put it in block capitals! AS LONG AS I'M ALIVE MAYO WILL NEVER WIN AN ALL-IRELAND.

Kimmage asked the natural question, and Connolly came back to the 'A' word: Attitude.

You've that attitude for a start. And a midfielder, Aidan O'Shea, rushing around doing TV shows. What the fuck? You wouldn't see it in Kerry. You wouldn't see it in Dublin. Why? Because you win your medals and then talk about it.

When asked how he would fix it, O'Shea comes in for stinging criticism from Connolly:

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There would be no media. It's about The Team, The Team, The Team, not what I can do for myself. Aidan O'Shea does media for himself. He's not doing it for the team. It's bullshit.

While O'Shea is not afraid of the limelight, there's a self-fulfilling prophecy here: there's so much talk about supposed self-promotion and his dominating the media rather than falling into line with the team, he ends up dominating the media. For example, Keith Duggan dedicated his Irish Times column yesterday to defending O'Shea, and talk of O'Shea dominated the beginning of the Saturday Panel on yesterday's Off the Ball. Heck, we are writing about it too.

Along with this, Connolly has lived an interesting life and it's a good read, in today's Sunday Independent.

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[Sunday Independent]

See Also: 13 Of The Maddest Things About The Sunday Game In The 1990s

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