Two-thirds of Donegal injuries blamed on training

Former Donegal football physiotherapist Dermot Simpson has revealed two-thirds of the county’s injuries in 2014 and 2015 were due to training.

Simpson also said the ratio of training to games was 10-to-one during the Ulster and All-Ireland championships.

“Over the past two seasons, the Donegal senior football panel had a ratio of 10 trainings to one match during the summer months and almost six trainings for every match pre-championship,” Simpson wrote in his column. “Sixty-six percent of Donegal’s injuries from the past two seasons were from training sessions. Donegal are no different to any other inter-county team. Eighty per cent of times, an inter-county player steps onto the pitch, it’s for a training session.”

Simpson, who assisted Donegal from 2012 to 2015, is now based in Qatar, working at renowned sports clinic Aspetar. He would like the GAA to replicate the Australian season. “If the GAA season were structured like the AFL model, the intensive training would be performed at the beginning of the season with only maintenance of fitness between the weekly matches. AFL’s hard training is done in the longer pre-season, which stems from mid November until the end of February.

“When the season begins, there is a constant flow of games. It’s what the players want to be doing. It’s what the fans want to see. The training to game ratio is much lower, probably 3-4:1, during this period.”

Every year we see a team who are ‘flying’ in the National League but lose their provincial and first qualifier game. If there was a set-time for pre-season training followed by a weekly schedule of games, this would be less likely to occur.


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