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It’s not easy serving two masters


Back in the game
Cormac O'Malley

Whoever decided on the dates for the opening round of the Mayo club championship obviously wasn’t thinking too much about players’ social lives.
Sitting in over Easter weekend while your phone pings with WhatsApp messages from retired mates or non-playing friends at stags that you’ve had to pass up on, or for random pints, is a tough one to take.
A lot is made of drinking bans in the GAA but in reality it’s about common sense. Professional teams can enjoy a few drinks after a game because the next day is either a day of recovery or a day off. They have nutritionists who monitor and deliver their food intake, ergo their hangovers are basically managed for them.
Amateur club players don’t have that luxury. When you’re younger you can get away with it a bit more, but at my age a hangover lasts at least three days now and that’s just not conducive to getting yourself right for a big game. Your food intake is all over the place, your sleeping patterns are messed up, and then you’re facing into a day of work. It’s just not worth it, is it?
With the championship on the horizon for all clubs you have to be on your game in every respect. This week now is a big one. Unfortunately for some clubs the opening round of the championship is that bit early — at the beginning of the year everyone was looking at the championship starting when Mayo were out of the championship. Next thing it’s at the start of April, you’ve two league games to play and bang, you’re straight into a year defining clash. Hardly ideal.
For Bonniconlon, it’s unusual in that we’ve already faced our championship opponents two weeks ago in the opening round of the league. It’s a mixed blessing — the loss dented confidence but there was a lot to learn from the game at the same time. You know as well that championship is a different kettle of fish at the same time and the form book goes out the window as the old saying goes. Let’s hope so.
While the results haven’t been ideal for Bonniconlon, it’s been a better start for Ballina Town with a win and a draw against two of our rivals. From a personal point of view it’s not been easy watching from the bench but that’s the way it goes and there’s a long season ahead. It’s funny though, the games are nearly the only time I get a rest these days! Below is my own training schedule over the last two weeks:
Monday (March 19) – soccer match (played 45minutes). Tuesday – Pilates/GAA catch up training. Wednesday – GAA training. Thursday – gym. Friday – soccer training. Saturday – GAA match (did not play). Sunday – soccer match (DNP). Monday (March 26) – off. Tuesday – pilates 6pm/soccer training 7pm/GAA training 8.30pm. Wednesday – gym. Thursday – GAA training. Friday – soccer training. Saturday – GAA match (DNP). Sunday – soccer match (DNP). Monday (April 2) – GAA training.
It’s been hectic but it’s rewarding too, I’m fitter now than I’ve been in well over a decade. Now all I need is a few minutes of game time … and a maybe a pint at some stage!

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