Thursday 14 December 2017

O'Brien right to quench 'burnout' fires

Paddy O'Brien: 'training is scientific'
Paddy O'Brien: 'training is scientific'
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Those who claim that modern-day inter-county players are being driven to breaking point by gruelling schedules must have been surprised by comments from Paddy O'Brien, Tipperary physio and former All-Ireland medal winner, in an interview with Michael Verney in this newspaper last Saturday.

"There's no way senior inter-county players can be burnt out; they are absolutely immaculately looked after and there aren't enough games within the inter-county season to have them burnt out.

"Training is so scientific and they're rested and tested so much that there's no one burnt out," said O'Brien.

He admitted that some players in the 18-23 age group may be at risk because they are dealing with a few managers, who are driving different agendas, but otherwise burnout is not a problem.

His comments make a refreshing change from some of the ludicrously overstated portrayals of players enduring tortured existences with little respite.

Indeed, it you were to believe some of the more exaggerated versions of just how difficult it is to be a player nowadays, it would be easy to mistake inter-county camps for the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

However, O'Brien sees it very differently. "We're so far on and players are really minded compared to our generation," he said.

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