Tuesday 17 October 2017

'Their bodies were misshapen, there's something grotesque about it' - Joe Brolly on the GAA gym culture

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Off the back of Kerry footballer Brendan O'Sullivan's positive drugs test, Joe Brolly has voiced his concerns about the gym culture in the GAA.

Speaking on this week's episode of The Throw-In podcast, Brolly said that he couldn't get over the size of the Tyrone minor team, adding that 'there's something grotesque about seeing it up close'.

The increased strength and conditioning requirements in the GAA has been a big talking point over the last few years, and Brolly is a bit worried about this trend, in particular how it is seeping into underage level.

"Players are keen to build their strength and take supplements because of the amount of training," Brolly said.

"I was at Celtic Park and the physiques, particularly on the Tyrone minor team, were extraordinary. It was like looking at a provincial rugby team. Really extraordinary for 17, 18 year-olds.

"I wouldn't have had anything like that physique when I was finishing my career as a county footballer. The work being doing must be very close to what we are seeing in rugby.

Brolly then referred to how many of Donegal star Michael Murphy's physical attributes measured up to Clermont rugby players during The Toughest Trade, before giving his thoughts on the size of minor footballers.

"I've been into the Derry senior weights training about three years ago and I was stunned," he said.

"Really, I was stunned. The thought I had looking at the boys yesterday - Tyrone have state of the art training facilities and their academy takes players in when they are 14,15. I suppose like the Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connacht academies. Their bodies, to me, were misshapen and there is something grotesque about it when you see it close up.

"Maybe as Mickey Harte says, people like myself hark back to the days when we drove Ford Anglias and Paidi Ó Sé was able to punch a Cork player in the mouth in front of the referee and not get a card!"



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