Overall, Brendan Bugler says there were more pros than cons when it came to his inter-county hurling career with Clare. The 2013 All-Ireland winner retired in October.
Writing in a column for AIB GAA, Bugler explained the reasons behind his retirement. The 32-year-old believes too much is being asked of older players and is annoyed with the 'one-size fits all' approach of inter-county management teams. Allowances, he feels, need to be made for players who pick up responsibilities as the years progress.
Last year, Bugler says demands on his time hit a new high. A schedule of Monday night in the gym, training on Tuesday, Thursday night in the gym and Friday night training - many which were both preceded and followed by team meetings - became too much.
Bugler recently became a father, an understanding partner was required.
"Men playing senior hurling at the top level are mature enough to take personal responsibility for their own game," writes the Clare man.
"I would much have preferred to analyse my own game and the team’s game in the luxury of my sitting room rather than in a cold damp room either before or after training. I simply hated these meetings."
When you're that bit older, and you've had a child as I have had recently, and you're building a house or whatever, it's over the top. Do you sit still and put your life on hold? It’s very hard to give up four or five nights per week. From my experience, we must start to look at the needs of each player. I'm 32 years of age now and I want to be home and I'm needed there, far more than I was earlier in my career. The lack of tailoring to individual needs is the big one though, and part of that is down to not trusting players. Surely lads can be considered responsible enough to look at their own clips of video analysis at home than to do it all collectively. If they do not take responsibility on analysing themselves they should not be on the panel anyway.
Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE