How Galway footballers are handling shutdown: 'Everybody has a GPS and we get sent back the data'

How Galway footballers are handling shutdown: 'Everybody has a GPS and we get sent back the data'

Everything possible is being done to keep Galway's  Allianz League momentum going, says coach John Concannon. 

Concannon is Galway senior football selector and forwards coach. Galway’s Connacht SFC opener against New York in Gaelic Park on May 3 was called off last week.

As well as being a major fundraising opportunity for Galway football, the few days there could have been used for extra training.

Of all the football counties, Galway had the most momentum before the suspension. Pádraic Joyce’s team had been sitting at the top of Division 1 one point ahead of Kerry having won four of five matches, their two outstanding round games against Mayo and Dublin.

“There’s really nothing you can do at the moment except keep in contact with the players and trust them to do their own programmes. Everybody is conscious of the coronavirus and the dangers attached to it and the players’ well-being is above all other priorities.

“Everybody has a GPS and we get sent back the data but it is really hard on the players, harder on them than it is on us. They want to be training five days a week and as much as they’re getting work done, it's not the type of work they want to be doing because the gyms are closed.

“We had the focal point of the New York game and two, if not three more League games, which we had been really looking forward to. We had the next couple of months all planned out and by and large everything had been going according to plan but then this throws a spanner in the works.

“We have our WhatsApp group and then each of us in the management team have a certain number of players who we keep in contact with whether it’s over the phone or messages. How long will players need to get themselves right for the Championship if and when it resumes? The longer this goes on, the more time they will need.

“You wouldn’t have any fears about their fitness but the big fear would be the type of condition they come back in. Because they don’t have access to the gum, they mightn’t come back with the same body strength or core strength.

"If we’re off for six weeks three might be enough to be right for a game but then if every team is doing the same thing then everyone is coming from the same base so there shouldn’t be a problem. What’s most important is we get through this first and then we can really focus on football.”

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