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Where are they now?

Podsie O'Mahony

(Former Cork footballer)

One thing that Podsie O'Mahony misses about playing inter-county football is the training. He'd love to be part of the modern set-up, to train like a professional and give the commitment that the current players do.

"I'd have enjoyed training at that level for four or five years," he says. "The attitude of players nowadays is so different. They are practically full-time athletes. The set-ups they have too are amazing, it's all so professional with everything from dieticians to sports psychologists to strength and conditioning coaches.

"Kildare are the perfect example of the modern football team. They are machines and that doesn't come from a couple of sessions a week and having a few pints in the evening, that comes from a lifestyle of training hard and looking after yourself."

O'Mahony first played for the Cork senior footballers in a National League game in 1992 in Ballybofey. The previous year he won an All-Ireland minor title, beating Mayo in Croke Park. In 1994, he won an All-Ireland under 21 title, overcoming Mayo again in the final and then the following year got his first championship start for the Rebels. A succession of injuries forced him to retire in 2000.

The forward was also a talented hurler. He played minor for Cork and also played hurling through the ranks for his club Ballincollig. In fact, his greatest sporting memory was winning an intermediate county hurling title. Although he enjoyed hurling as much as football, he feels that trying to combine both is virtually impossible.

"The commitment required to play one at the top level is massive. It's just not viable to try and do both even though I'd have loved to. It's becoming too demanding at club level too. If you had a dual player in with Dublin they would probably be training every morning of the week at 5.30am, it wouldn't work."

For the last 10 years the 38-year-old has owned and operated Podsie O'Mahony's Bar. He retired from club football 12 months ago after getting a disc removed from his neck.

But he is now involved with the Carrigaline senior team as a selector and has also started coaching both hurling and football, five mornings a week, in the local schools in Ballincollig.

Sunday Indo Sport