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'It would suck the life out of Mayo' | Kevin Walsh on dealing with Aidan O'Shea

Former Galway manager Kevin Walsh believes no matter where Mayo decide to play Aidan O'Shea on Su...

'It would suck the life out of...

'It would suck the life out of Mayo' | Kevin Walsh on dealing with Aidan O'Shea

Former Galway manager Kevin Walsh believes no matter where Mayo decide to play Aidan O'Shea on Sunday there will be a plan in place to try and thwart him.

The Breaffy clubman caused Pádraic Joyce's Tribesmen all sorts of problems in an extraordinary 15-point Allianz League defeat at Tuam Stadium last month.

Walsh, who himself won three All Stars and two All-Ireland's as a player in maroon and white, spoke on OTB AM this morning ahead of the Connacht final in Salthill this weekend.

The Killannin man says when he was managing the county his ideal handling of O'Shea when they played Mayo changed over time.

"To be honest, it didn't bother us. I suppose the first year we went in the thing was, before we knew our players and developed systems and stuff, I didn't like to see him really on the edge of the square.

"He's a big strong man, good hands, very good at getting frees - even though they mightn't be frees sometimes but he'll get them.

"But as time went on I used to love seeing him on the edge of the square because you'd double-team him and he gets frustrated, he can't twist and turn and doesn't have space, his power then is gone.

"Even a weak defender physical-wise was like a velcro man with hands going in and out, knowing that the likes of Aidan has to either bounce or solo after four steps. You're going to frustrate somebody if you've got a two-v-one.

"At the latter end I'd have loved if Aidan was inside and all the ball was going in, because you'd have a plan developed for that.

"It would suck the life out of Mayo if the likes of a big [man] like that wasn't doing the business. So at the start I didn't like seeing him full-forward, but at the end would have no qualms with him going full-forward."

Walsh added that he hopes Galway will have learned lessons from the 3-23 to 0-17 defeat to Mayo in October.

18 October 2020; Aidan O'Shea of Mayo is tackled by Séan Andy Ó Ceallaigh of Galway during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 6 match between Galway and Mayo at Tuam Stadium in Tuam, Galway. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

"Sunday will tell a lot. If Galway turn up like they did in Tuam we still mightn't know. I'd like to see Galway turn up with a real fight in their bellies, with an organisation and a plan to stop their bigger players, like Aidan O'Shea.

"If you look at the analysis after the Galway game, it was as if Aidan O'Shea had never been played full-forward before. We're talking about this great plan and Aidan O'Shea playing full-forward, and he'll be there for the year coming forward.

"Then the following week you look at Tyrone [against Mayo in the League] and they had a bit of a plan, they had a sweeper. Aidan O'Shea's game wasn't as effective and we were back to the old talk again.

"You just can't get excited over one or two games. We're talking about Kerry last week, Cork for the first time set up a lot different than they had in the past.

"They had a bit more of a plan, [they were] a bit more ruthless, blocking off channels for Kerry, and all of a sudden it was as if Kerry changed their gameplan and weren't kicking the ball in.

"It's not as simple as saying Peter Keane changed his tactics, there's loads of other stuff in there."

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Aidan O'shea Connacht Final GAA Galway Galway GAA Kevin Walsh Mayo Mayo GAA