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IRISH 800m record holder David Matthews is not the first athletics star to apply the science of track and field to help a GAA team.

Jim Kilty

Regarded as one of the fathers of Irish sprinting, Kilty is also credited with bringing SAQ (speed, agility, quickness) drills into GAA training. He has worked with a plethora of inter-county teams, including Tipperary's hurlers, Mayo's footballers and, most recently, Dublin's hurlers and Wexford's senior camogie team.

Pat Flanagan

A former Irish 100m champion from Waterford who now lectures in physical education in IT Tralee, Flanagan's innovative fitness training techniques were regarded as central to Kerry footballers' All-Ireland successes of 2004 and 2006 and he is back working with the Waterford hurlers this year.

David Matthews

Cork hurlers' new fitness coach is a 1993 European junior bronze medallist and former Olympic and world semi-finalist, who was fourth in the 800m at the 1999 World Indoors. Matthews set an Irish 800m record of 1:44.82 in Reiti, Italy, in September 1995, which has stood for 17 years and is one of the longest-standing records in Irish athletics.

Sean Cahill

Another new recruit. The former Irish 110m hurdles champion is one half of the husband-and-wife team that coaches Derval O'Rourke. Cahill hails from a traditional Meath football stronghold (Skryne) and the Royals' football boss Seamus McEnaney brought him on board this year as the county's fitness trainer.

Kelly Proper

The reigning Irish long jump record holder (below) from Waterford, who is also an international class sprinter. Davy Fitzgerald (since returned to manage his native Clare) brought her into his Deise back-room team last year to do specific sprint training with their senior hurlers. Still only 23 and a full-time international athlete, Proper also advises some GAA club teams.

Irish Independent