Aidan O’Shea To Swap Gaelic Football for American Football in AIB’s The Toughest Trade

Aidan O’Shea might be a big man on the Gaelic football field, but he’s about to get pushed about by some giants when he lands in the USA.The towering Mayo All Star is heading state-side next month to try his hand at American football.

Weighing in at the 15 and-a-half stone mark the 25-year-old is as big and as strong a player as you get in the GAA. But on the gridiron field he’ll be dwarfed by much bigger men and he knows that he’s in for some tough times.

 “Yeah, it’s a different ball game,” he smiled at the thought of being on the receiving end for a change.

 “Even just the pure technique of what they are doing. I’m going to be small basically, to be honest about it. I expect to be anyway.

 “Looking at some of the weights and my size, I’m 6’4″, some of them could have 20kgs on me which is just insane. I’m just around the 100kg mark.”

 O’Shea jets out to America on February 7, the day after Mayo play All-Ireland champions Dublin in Castlebar in their Division 1 League game. He will be there for a week as part of a swap-deal sponsored by long-time All-Ireland Club Championship backers AIB.

 AIB has commissioned another run of The Toughest Trade; a documentary film as part of its #TheToughest campaign.

 Last year’s film featured Kilkenny hurler Jackie Tyrrell, retired Armagh star Aaron Kernan, former England soccer international David Bentley and baseball great Brian Schneider and now O’Shea is in front of the cameras. Just recently Tipperary hurler Brendan Maher was in Australia trying his hand at cricket with Big Bash League franchise Adelaide Strikers.

 The documentary will air ahead of the AIB GAA Club Championship finals on St Patrick’s Day, and will subsequently be available to view on the AIB YouTube channel.

 The other athletes involved in the documentary – a professional cricketer and American footballer – will be revealed in the coming weeks.

 O’Shea still hasn’t gotten his full itinerary yet, so he doesn’t know what team he will be training with or what level he’s likely to even be competing at. O’Shea says he’s a casual fan of the NFL, watching it at the weekends on television, and that basketball is his second sport after Gaelic football.

 As a teenager he also attracted the attention of Australian Rules clubs and he went Down Under on trial, though nothing came of that.