Mickey Burke: "You have to pump a bit of green diesel into the tank every so often"

The Meath man discussed the difficulties of being an inter-county player

BY Simon Maguire 17:27 Saturday 12 August 2017, 17:27 12 Aug 2017

Mikey Burke of Meath. Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

The Saturday panel on Off the Ball focused on teams who are out of this year's All Ireland Football Championship as the season draws to a close.

Galway's Michael Meehan, Meath's Mickey Burke and Monaghan's Kieran Hughes joined Ger Gilroy to discuss their respective campaigns.

Reflecting on Meath's exit from the Championship, Burke said: "We went out after the game in Navan. We weren't really prepared for it. I had to go back to Longwood which is about 30 minutes away and come back in but I don't know if mourning is the right word but...you're devastated.

"I was walking around there in a cloud for about a week because it's such big part or your life. I'm completely in a bubble and I know that myself. Playing football with Meath - you eat, sleep and drink it everyday. It's probably one of my weaknesses - switching off. I find it very hard to switch off from football. It's probably one of the things I need to work on.

"I was reading Kevin McMenamin...he was just saying that when he's on the pitch or when he's training - he's flat out but when he's away from it - he's more relaxed. Maybe that's something I need to be better at. I'm going all the time," he added. 

Despite being an amateur sport, GAA players are held to almost professional levels and expected to refrain from drinking as much as possible.

Galway's Joe Canning revealed in an interview with the Irish Independent that players should be allowed socialise regularly during the season and Burke agrees with the hurler.

"You have to pump a bit of green diesel into the tank every so often as Joe said. But one thing I will say is that everyone saw the Lions rugby boys having a few pints after the games and that's grand," said Burke.

"I had a chat to the Meath strength and conditioner about this as well and he was saying that the work-to-rest ratio of the rugby players is slightly different to a Premiership football player or a GAA player.  

"The running is a little bit different - they can have a bit of timber on them if that makes sense?"

The Saturday panel podcast can be heard here:  

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