Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 19 November 2017

No rest for GAA's best

John Greene

John Greene

This is the GAA's closed season. Inter-county teams are not permitted to engage in collective training or to organise challenge games.

The closed season spans November and December and was introduced in 2008 because of fears that amateur players were being pushed to the limits, and sometimes beyond, with year-round training regimes surely more suited to professionals.

The problem with the training ban is that it principally targets inter-county players in an effort to give them a much needed rest after what for some will have been a punishing season.

But how many GAA players are idle in November and December? How many are back training with their club, taking part in gruelling stamina sessions on heavy ground or in gyms? And how many are doing likewise with their college? And how many are doing both?

In theory, the idea of a closed season to allow players to recharge their batteries is a good one, especially in an amateur organisation. But there are far too many variables for it to be workable in its current form.

Sunday Independent

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