CONSIDERING he is based as a school teacher in Clonmel, it's no wonder Chris Allen decided to make a choice between hurling and football a number of years ago, and although the Finuge captain has chosen to concentrate on the latter, his admiration for those who have been combining both is clearly obviously.
"I find it amazing to think that lads can keep going with such intensity for four to five nights a week from February onwards nowadays between the two codes considering the level of commitment that has to be put in even just for one. Certainly it brings the training on no end when you don't have to worry about fitness with the hurling training having kept the dual players sharp despite all the waiting we've had," he told The Kerryman.
Allen acknowledges the feat of the club in making three Intermediate Finals since their All-Ireland Junior triumph of 2005 but feels the journey won't be quite complete until they finally get their hands on the Fenian Cup.
"We've been unlucky to lose to two form teams like we did against Legion and Gneeveguilla in those finals. Spa are in a similar bracket, they are proven at this level having won in 2009 and they are going to provide us with a lively, fast and strong challenge particularly down the middle," the Finuge captain said of their final opponents.
He also says that the club's two most renowned players, new Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Paul Galvin have still maintained their appetite for success.
"Eamonn always provides dedication to whatever team he is involved with whether that is as a player and a manager and he is still as focussed as he ever was, even since he was confirmed as the Kerry manager. Paul was back training with us about three nights after Kerry were beaten by Donegal and he has given everything another impetus particularly with the leadership he provides on the pitch," Allen said.
He agrees that accuracy in front of the posts is going to have a big say in the outcome of Sunday's curtain-raiser in Austin Stack Park.
"Our other two finals have been low scoring affairs alright. That's probably a credit to both sets of defences being on top as well and really any team that is going to win a major final needs both sectors of the pitch to perform and we're preparing in such a way that we will hopefully be able to get the best out of both on Sunday. Any GAA match, football or hurling, is about primary possession in the middle and we need our fair share of it if we are to set ourselves up for victory."
There's probably enough hurt in the lockers of the dual players in both Finuge and Lixnaw between their defeats in various finals to drive them over the line on Sunday.
Getting over that line is always the challenge however, but it won't be for the want of effort that prevents Finuge from crossing over it at the final whistle.