'We're getting gym programmes sent to us from China'
John Coghlan is still directing Ballyboden St Enda's strength and conditioning programme ahead of Saturday's semi-final, despite residing in China in his new role as head coach to Asia's top sprinters.
With manager Andy McEntee looking to take 'Boden's fitness to new heights after back-to-back Dublin semi-final defeats to St Vincent's, he recruited his good friend Coghlan, and it has resulted in county and Leinster SFC titles.
Coghlan is coach to Su Bingtian, the first Asian to break the 100m 10-second barrier, and ace attacker Andrew Kerin credits him with "raising the bar". And even with major geographical restrictions, he remains involved.
"He's directing operations from China," Kerin said. "He really raised the fitness bar even though we actually lost him the week of the final when he was hired by the Chinese government.
"He's coaching the Chinese sprinting team but he sends over gym sessions every week on the WhatsApp group and I'm pretty sure he tells Andy what to do for each training session.
"He put a lot of work into our fitness last year. There wasn't as much running around the pitch and there was a lot more intense running, which we really came on a lot from.
"The year before we were in the game with Vincent's with 15 minutes to go and just fell away. They blew us away but we knew John had the work done with us this time."