The former five time All-Ireland winner with Kerry and five time all-star questions the level of commitment that is required from inter-county players, nowadays to compete at the top level of Gaelic football. Tomas O’Se came from a great Kerry team, reaching six All-Ireland’s in a row in the 2000’s.
There’s no doubt that the level of commitment required for inter-county is probably gone too far as these players are still amateur players and not professional. All these Gaelic footballers have to go to work Monday to Friday and the traveling to and from training and work is a big ask if you’re in a high pressured job. You only have to look at Jack McCaffrey who was one of the best footballers in the country but had to hang up his boots because of the pressures of being a doctor.
Tomas O’Se was talking on the RTÉ GAA podcast and made the point
” I think inter-county teams are training like professional outfits and then, unlike professionals, they have to go to work or college.
In my mind we’re putting in professional hours and standards. We’re preparing in a professional way when we’re not, fellas have to go to work. Something has to give somewhere…
I travelled from Cork my whole career and actually enjoyed the driving, to get my head straight.
But even in my time there was no fella on the Kerry team that survived who was based in Dublin or outside Munster.
I was a teacher and I can honestly say I chose teaching mostly because of the hours and the fact that I was off for the summer.
If I had it all back again, I would probably have made a different decision. Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching and it’s fierce satisfying working with young people, but there are some areas you look at and think ‘I would love to have…’
If I missed one training it would eat me for three or four weeks. The balance was wrong…
I think certainly the days of fellas going on till 34/35 are definitely gone. It will mean shorter careers.”