'You need to know you're not doing too much'
DCU star Quinn keeping close watch on burnout ahead of date with Dubs
THE DCU students hope to 'graduate' from the group stages of the O'Byrne Cup at the expense of All-Ireland champions Dublin tomorrow.
Cheeky? Not really, because DCU have beaten Westmeath and Louth already this week.
Dublin are also on full points in Group D, having beaten the same opposition, so the Parnell Park clash has a semi-final place on offer for the winners.
Longford star Michael Quinn came back from a brief spell out of action to play for DCU in the second half of their six-point victory over Westmeath on Wednesday and he is upbeat about the students' chances.
"It's going to be an interesting match," he said. "Dublin have been in two tight games with Westmeath and Louth and got two good wins.
"There's plenty of quality there with the U-21s and other young lads joining the panel.
"But we had a great win on Wednesday and we've put in two very good performances so far. That's encouraging because we were struggling just trying to get things into place at the start.
"The O'Byrne Cup is brilliant for any college team and it puts you in good stead for the Sigerson Cup.
"It would be nice now if we put in a good performance against Dublin, even get a win and push on to the semi-finals and get a few extra competitive games.
"Either way, it will help us because it will be a tough game."
Galway U-21 All-Ireland winner Tom Flynn also came on for a few minutes against Westmeath, but he is unlikely to start tomorrow as he continues to regain fitness following a long-term groin injury.
DCU are down "to the bare bones" according to manager Niall Moyna.
Moyna, a professor in the university's School of Health and Human Performance, has been delighted with his team, which has been without such top level players as Colm Begley of Laois, Dublin's James McCarthy and Galway's Fiontan O Curraoin.
"We're down to the bare bones. We were hoping to have the likes of Colm Begley and James McCarthy in our half-back line, but they're not ready yet," he said.
"Dean Rock, and Jack Brady have also been out and Gary Sweeney was playing with Dublin on Wednesday night.
"To be fair to the group of lads we have, they've been brilliant since the start of the year. They've really gelled as a group and we're very happy with them."
Quinn echoed those sentiments: "There's a lot of guys who have stepped up and who have done really well -- the likes of Conor McGreanor and Conor McHugh, who kicked six points the other night."
The former Aussie Rules professional is gearing up for DCU's Sigerson Cup challenge and he also has an eye on Longford's preparations for the Allianz League.
Moyna referred this week to the need within the GAA to look after players' welfare and ensure their bodies don't break down under the pressure of the demands from different teams. To an extent, Quinn finds himself in danger of being in such a predicament and he has discussed the situation with new Longford boss Jack Sheedy and Barry Horgan, Longford's strength and conditioning coach.
"I sat down with Jack and Barry and it was just about trying to get an understanding of where I'm at and what's going on," he said.
"It's been really helpful. That's probably the hardest thing -- the communication between county and college.
"You need to make sure there's an understanding of what you're doing with the college and that you're not doing too much.
"The college would like to see you fully commit to them between now and the Sigerson, but you still have to show your face with the county as well, but obviously without overdoing it.
"There's a very fine line that you have to watch in order to keep you fresh and prevent over-training, but the league creeps in fairly quickly, so you want to be there as well.
"You're trying to keep everyone happy.
"It's very hard to get the balance, but once there's good communication and understanding, it's okay and that has been the case for me with the county and the college so far."