A huge talking point in the world of Gaelic games at present, is the training demand s which are placed upon the players. Initially people were amazed as intercounty players were committing to full time schedules, resembling that of professional sportsmen. These demands have slowly creeped into the Club scene also, with senior players being expected to sacrifice 5 or 6 days nights a week to their clubs.
A close friend of mine who previously represented his county ”Cavan”, now finds himself subject to such demands, in order to represent his hometown club. This provided an excellent opportunity to gain some personal insight into this trend in GAA.
What Club do you currently represent and where is it based?
“Killygarry GFC in co. Cavan.”
How long have you been with the club?
“Iv played with them since I was 8 years old, and I am now 32.”
How long have you been living in Dublin and why?
“For the last 5 to 6 years I have been living in Dublin. I work in the banking sector which makes it almost impossible to live at home in Cavan, given the limited number of opportunities there. My girlfriend also works in Dublin, so we would both have to get new jobs in order to leave Dublin.
Describe your peak football schedule?
Every Friday night is training, that’s pretty much gospel. In peak season we train Wednesday and Friday, with a game at the weekend. Every night at that stage you are expected to be doing your own work in the gym, cardio or recovery.””
Tell me about the challenges posed by the commute (travel, training, selection)?
“Time management is difficult. There are challenges with your personal life and loved ones. There is lots of juggling involved in order to keep everyone happy. It can be particularly challenging physically and mental when work is at its busiest.”
What provides the greatest motivation to keep playing?
“I grew up playing and always having that belief that it could be the year that we win a championship.”
Would you ever played for a Dublin Club?
“Its hard to know, as I get older and younger players are coming through, I do consider moving to a team close by that might be less demanding.”
What’s your opinion on where the sports is going and the demands placed on club footballers?
“I feel that the training demands have to be checked by the coaches. The players love the game and will do anything to succeed, but they shouldn’t have to. This is an amateur sport at the end of the day!”
There you have some fascinating insight on the developments within our national game. We would love if more GAA players can get in touch and provide some details on your own experience of such schedules and demands. So please comment below!