A whopping 11 of the 21 Mayo players that competed in last year’s All-Ireland final are based in Dublin, effectively splitting the panel in two throughout the league.
Speaking back in October, All-Star O’Shea cast doubt on Mayo’s league credentials and suggested they’d be more interested in another lengthy Championship run.
“There’s a reason why Kerry won, why Dublin have won them and when Cork were consistent they were winning a lot of league titles.
"Is it possible for us to win a league title? I’m not quite sure with our situation,” said O’Shea, adding: “It’s a matter of tapering it and, to be honest, staying up.”
But versatile attacker O’Connor rejected the idea that they can’t steal the title currently in Kerry’s possession.
“I don’t really see any reason why we can’t, we have Monaghan in the first round of the league so we’ll be trying to get off to a good start and see what happens from there,” said O’Connor.
“I suppose with new lads now in the panel and lads working and studying in Dublin, there would be about 13 or 14 there. We train together in Dublin and the lads back home train.
“As the year goes on and after the league and coming into the Championship, we’d go home during the week for training as well.
“But at this time of year the lads train together in Dublin. I don’t see that as an excuse as to why we can’t challenge for the league. It’s a difficulty but we try and work around it and just train together up here, just as we would if we had the entire squad at home.”