Limerick veteran John Galvin admits intercounty training and preparation has become “professional in all but name.”
Galvin, after lengthy deliberation, has confirmed he is back in training in advance of his 16th senior season with the Shannonsiders.
But he feels that such longevity may soon be a thing of the past given what is expected of top flight footballers and hurlers.
“I think there are only three of us still playing who played in the 1990s, myself, Dessie Dolan (Westmeath) and Paul Barden (Longford),” he said.
“It’s a lot different now compared to when I started in 1998. Training regimes are very intensive now and you just have to look after yourself so well, it’s professional in all but name. The demands are huge now.”
Galvin, 34 in July, had been contemplating his future since the end of the 2013 championship and admits it was a difficult decision to make.
“I was 50-50 all along,” he said. “Maybe if I hadn’t done my cruciate twice before, it might have been an easier decision as you’d always be worried about doing it again.
“I had met twice with John (Brudair, Limerick manager) and he explained he’d like to have me back. But at the same time he wasn’t putting any pressure on me.
“We agreed that we’d leave it a few weeks and that I’d get back to him. It’s a process every player has to go through but I didn’t realise just how hard it would be.
“Whenever you retire, it’s probably difficult to watch championship games for the first year or two. They’re what you don’t want to miss, it’s the six months beforehand that you mightn’t be too keen on! I’ll see what way the body feels at the end of 2014. It’s been a case of giving it one more season with the last four or five years, so I’ll stick with that!”
Limerick’s next league game is away to Roscommon on Sunday, though Galvin will not be involved as he builds up his match-fitness.
And, while Limerick would have to beat Kerry and Cork to win the Munster SFC this year, the reintroduction of seeding had not been a factor in his decision-making.
“I’m disappointed they did it, but it didn’t really enter my head,” he said.
“Championship is a bit away yet though. Last week was my first time touching a ball since August or September, so I must work on getting fit. I need a good while before I’m ready to play properly. The others have been at it a few months so I know I won’t be playing for a while.”
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