Sheehy 'amazed' at players' commitment to the cause
Kerry selector and Kingdom legend Mikey Sheehy says he has had his eyes opened by the level of work and commitment that inter-county players are putting into their preparation.
By his own admission, laps of the field, 'wire to wire' runs and shuttles up and down the terraces of Fitzgerald Stadium under the watchful eye of a demanding Mick O'Dwyer made up the training regime that he and his colleagues adhered to in order to have their fitness primed for games.
"I was amazed, but, now that I am involved at the coalface," he said, "I am even more amazed at the work that players have to put in and the lifestyles they have to lead – even down a glass of water instead of the cup of tea.
"It's gone to a crazy level – even the work that Eamonn (Fitzmaurice), Cian O'Neill and Diarmuid Murphy put in, it's incredible. The training is totally different than in our day.
"It's a science and you do have to train your teams if you want to compete. In our day, we wintered well and maybe put on a few pounds, but that day is gone. These lads are like professional soccer players, their conditioning is frightening.
"I am only talking about the Kerry lads, but I'm sure the other counties are the same, training two nights a week, gym work two mornings a week at 7.0 and a game most weekends – then scans, blood tests and more.
"They are utterly dedicated, it's a professional set-up and I do think that players are well looked after – but they deserve to be."
Sheehy admits that performances more than results have caused the greater concern over the past two months as Kerry battle relegation.
"I would not be hugely concerned about results, because they will take care of themselves in the long term.
"I think our results have led people to draw conclusions. I would think that the problem was that we lacked experience up front. Our scoring return in those early games does not make great reading, it's frightening. I would still have great hope for some of those lads, because we were unlucky to be missing the likes of Declan O'Sullivan, Paul Galvin, Bryan Sheehan and Colm Cooper, in particular."
• It has been confirmed the Ulster SFC tie between Donegal and Tyrone on May 26 will be played in Ballybofey.