Sunday’s Paper Review featured an in-depth discussion on the place of injuries in contemporary GAA.
Deputy Head of Sport at Independent News and Media, Aidan O'Hara, and Director of Sports Law at the University of Melbourne, Jack Anderson, were in studio and were suitably animated by a column from Paul Galvin in the Sunday Times on what he described as an "epidemic" of injuries in the GAA.
The discussion around injuries has been topical in recent weeks with Mayo suffering a glut of casualties that triggered a defence of the county’s training techniques by manager James Horan.
In reaction to the column, Anderson noted that the increasing professional mindset around inter-county panels meant that some counties now had strength and conditioning coaches around the panel full-time which was in fact, aiding player welfare.
“They are now going to be around all the time there where they can plan ahead for five years and bring the minors through. I think that is important too, that general long-term athlete welfare issue. You need all of this.”
“It just shows how big the GAA is becoming that you need all of this,” Anderson added.
Meanwhile, O’Hara picked issue with Galvin’s writing in the piece when Galvin theorised that an 80-minute game may be too long for amateur players.
“To write that 80 minutes is too long for amateur players when we hear that amateur players are training like professionals. I see that as a little bit of a contradiction.”
However, presenter Joe Molloy pointed out that while sides may train like professionals they ultimately were not and thus the frequency of injuries may not be normal when compared to other amateur sports.
“They are not [professionals] but it depends on what type of professional you say. They may not be at an AFL or Premier League level but certainly certain counties would be training four or five times a week," O'Hara responded.
O'Hara further argued that the issue, in his opinion, was not down to long matches as the amount of preseason training was "crazy” when compared to how many games most counties actually end up playing.
You can watch the full Sunday Paper Review in the video player above.