MIKEY Sheehy never made it to Portugal or any other foreign climes when he was playing football. At least not for a training camp. Any sunshine Sheehy enjoyed during his playing days was either through a team holiday when the season was done and the Championship was won; or if the sun shone down on Tralee or Killarney during one of thousands of training sessions he endured under Mick O'Dwyer.
On Tuesday evening 31 players and the management team arrived back in Kerry after a five-day training camp in the Algarve in Portugal. Sheehy was both slightly taken aback with how well the long weekend played out and greatly impressed with how hard the players worked over there.
"This was my first foreign training camp to experience and I have to say I was very impressed with the whole thing. Obviously Eamonn (Fitzmaurice) and Murph (Diarmuid Murphy) have been on one or two before as players, but this was my first time to be on one. Needless to say, we didn't go on such things back in my day!," Sheehy told The Kerryman from the Amendoeira Golf Resort, where the Kerry team was based and trained from Thursday evening until Tuesday morning.
"The camp went very well and the lads worked very hard. I was hugely impressed with the whole set-up. Eamonn and [physical trainer] Cian (O'Neill) had everything planned out to the letter and every minute of every day was useful. Most days the lads did three sessions, and I think we got through some very useful work.
"The weather could have been better, it rained a fair bit, but the temperature was a lot higher compared to home. But more than the weather, a camp like this is about getting the whole squad together for a period of time and building a good bond within the squad. It was particularly good for the younger lads and the lads new to the squad because they got to know the more senior lads a bit better," Sheehy said.
"After the wins over Down and Cork, the spirits were high before we left, and we came out here full of confidence. I won't say I was surprised at the amount of work the players put in, but it was an eye-opener for me to experience just how much work can be put in over four or five days. Eamonn and Diarmuid said it compared very well with other camps they have been one and as a management we'd be very pleased with how the whole thing went. The commitment of the players and the work they put in was incredible.
"A typical day started with breakfast at about 9am and from there we usually did three session in the day. The lads did some strength and conditioning, as well as working on their speed, but most of all we worked on our football. We got through a lot of stuff, so hopefully we will start to see the benefit of that when we get back.
"After the Cork game and the camp, going up to Tyrone needing to win is the perfect game for us. We worked very hard out there but there will be no danger of fatigue against Tyrone. The lads will have recovered fully before we hit Omagh, and we are certainly going up there looking to win the game," he said.