What does it take to become an inter-county GAA star?

Inter-county players put hours and hours of dedication into their craft. Whether it be gruelling gym sessions, hard-hitting matches or their healthy diet, there is no doubt that the life of a county star takes commitment and drive.

In GAA.ie’s latest series of interviews with some of the country’s top hurlers and footballers, they asked the question what does it take to represent your county at the highest level.

For Kerry’s James O’Donoghue, it takes a love of the game. “You can’t bluff loving football,” said the corner forward. “You have to be able to pass up on doing stuff all the time and have your eye on the prize and that’s Sam Maguire.”

Meanwhile, Kilkenny hurler and All-Ireland winner Lester Ryan cites a “positive attitude” as a vital attribute to becoming an inter-county player. “You’ve got to have strong belief too,” he said.

Dublin’s Jonny Cooper, who claimed the All-Ireland this year, said becoming an inter-county player and maintaining that status takes “massive commitment and a positive mindset.” He also emphasised the importance of never giving up. “No matter what stage you’re at in your career, you can still make it.”

While he acknowledged the important roles mentors play in preparing youngsters for the big stage, Tipp hurler Patrick “Bonner” Maher said it’s crucial that you “trust in yourself and believe in yourself."


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