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Tomás Ó Sé Is Very Concerned About The Demands Of Inter-County GAA

Tomás Ó Sé Is Very Concerned About The Demands Of Inter-County GAA
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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It requires an incredible amount of commitment to be an inter-county GAA player. Members of panels around the country can find themselves training five or six nights a week, a remarkable amount of time for people who are also trying to juggle work or college commitments.

What is required to compete at that grade has been taken to a whole new level in recent years, with the club game also asking far more from their players.

You have to admire those who can manage it, although you would wonder how sustainable it is to ask amateur players to keep this up in the long-term.


Speaking on the RTÉ GAA podcast, former Kerry star Tomás Ó Sé said something will have to be done to find a work-life balance for those involved at inter-county level. He also said many youngsters are basing their career choices around their GAA exploits, something he himself did in the past.

I think inter-county teams are training like professional outfits and then, unlike professionals, they have to go to work or college.

In my mind we're putting in professional hours and standards. We’re preparing in a professional way when we’re not, fellas have to go to work. Something has to give somewhere...

I travelled from Cork my whole career and actually enjoyed the driving, to get my head straight.

But even in my time there was no fella on the Kerry team that survived who was based in Dublin or outside Munster.

I was a teacher and I can honestly say I chose teaching mostly because of the hours and the fact that I was off for the summer.

If I had it all back again, I would probably have made a different decision. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching and it's fierce satisfying working with young people, but there are some areas you look at and think 'I would love to have…’

If I missed one training it would eat me for three or four weeks. The balance was wrong...

I think certainly the days of fellas going on till 34/35 are definitely gone. It will mean shorter careers.

In fact picking your career based on GAA stretches back long before even Ó Sé's ear.


His uncle Páidí left his post as a guard to become a publican in order to have more time to play football.

I’d say he was a terrible guard anyway but he gave it up because it was interfering with football.

Inter-county fellas don’t place as much emphasis on rest because they have to work or whatever.

Páidí would be taking two hours in the middle of every day. He was well ahead of his time.

Now everybody is rushing and racing. Players are under pressure.

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