There’s a different level of fitness among GAA players these days, but then again, there’s a different attitude too. I was talking to a footballer a while back, he rambled about an player from a generation gone by, who told him how the team would bicycle thirty or forty miles, play a game, and then cycle home again the same evening.
That was fit.
For all that though, the players today are more professional, and more like professional athletes in honing themselves for the important date. Training is designed so that – in theory at least – players peak on the day of the important match. The cycles might have been stronger, but they weren’t at their peak running onto a pitch after a thirty mile cycle.
I got thinking of all this after I was passing a GAA ground a while back, and the players were just finishing up after a training session. One of them got up into one of those fourwheeled jeep monsters, turned the ignition, and drove the three hundred metres down the road to his home.
Different times indeed.