Mayo's Aidan O'Shea opens up about feeling self-conscious about his weight

The towering forward won an All-Star this year

Mayo's Aidan O'Shea opens up about feeling self-conscious about his weight

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

To the public, Aidan O'Shea is a dominant force on the GAA circuit and is arguably the best Gaelic footballer in the country at present.

He has engaged in some ferocious battles with some of the best defenders in the game but within the recesses of his mind, Aidan O'Shea tussles with other demons. 

When Aidan O'Shea was 16, his eye was firmly fixed on pursuing a place on the Mayo football team and during John O'Mahony's reign, O'Shea was invited into the set-up.

He enjoyed a progressive season in his first year and was catching the attention of analysts and fans. But second season syndrome interfered when O'Shea fled the nest for college in Dublin and with that his form plummeted considerably.

He piled on the pounds, such is the plight of several college goers, but in O'Shea's case it was due to the fact that he was living with strangers who "weren't like-minded characters"

He was awarded Young Player of the Year in college, despite expanding to 16-and-a-half stone, but when he returned to the Mayo fold, he blamed his poor performances on a lack of quality ball being delivered to him.

O'Shea was subsequently dropped that season and with the benefit of hindsight, the Breaffy man admits he misread the situation. The drawback of that experience however, is that O'Shea has become more aware of his weight.

"I learned a tough lesson that year. Now I'm a bit paranoid about my weight. Every day I look at myself in the mirror, thinking, 'Jesus, I'm a bit fatter'. It's such a big thing with me for some reason. If I play a good game every commentator will say it's because I'm skinnier this year than I was last year. It gets annoying and I am conscious of it. I watch myself a lot closer but it doesn't stop me having a good time in the off-season".