Dublin City traffic is bad, but the motorways don't get any shorter 2 months ago

Dublin City traffic is bad, but the motorways don't get any shorter

For the Mayo ladies, training takes on a very different meaning.

With few jobs going within the county, the majority of players live away from home for work or for study. It could be Limerick, Galway or they could be as far out as Waterford or Dublin.

For these players, the trip begins at four. It doesn't end until 11, 12 and can even extend into the early hours of the next day.

"We've girls coming from Waterford, Limerick and Dublin for training," says Mayo ladies manager Peter Leahy.

The lads face the same trek. But with one crucial difference. They are reimbursed for their journey home while the women "don't get expenses at all," according to Leahy.

It's not just the Mayo ladies who would be out of pocket to make training. Take Donegal, Tipperary or Wexford players for example, many of whom are based a long way from home.

"We've girls coming from Waterford, Limerick and Dublin - and they don't get expenses at all"

"If we have 56,000 people in Croke Park, there's a lot of money there..." Lots of different thin...

It's a big disadvantage for players, that long drive home for training. Can cause stiffness and injuries. Eating must be done on the go. Late nights are the name of the game.

"I think the big advantage Dublin have is that they can collectively train within a half an hour of everyone," continued Leahy.

"In order to have a collective, session, we have to have the girls notified one month in advance whereas Mick (Bohan) could call a session, and half an hour later, the girls are there..."

Dublin to Castlebar is a three-hour trek, and if you're leaving the capital city at prime-traffic-time 4.00, you can add on an extra half hour. Waterford meanwhile, is a four hour trek. Limerick will take you two while Galway is an hour and a half away from Mayo's training base.

Often, Dublin players will counter with this argument. They'll say that the traffic in the main city makes their journey just as stressful.

"Sitting in traffic is definitely a lot worse than travelling on a motorway," said Dublin hurler Conal Keaney on The GAA Hour Show last year.

"Sometimes it's quicker to get to Wexford than it is to get to one end of the M50 or one end of town to the other..."

Whether it's quicker to get to Wexford or not is certainly up for debate. It's not like Wexford players are entitled to used Dublin city taxi lanes.

But getting home certainly isn't. Roads are empty in Dublin at 9.00, meaning a short trek home for capital city based players. Meanwhile, the M11 won't be getting any shorter.

In this sense then, Dublin's Noelle Healy is an outlier. She knows the struggle. Work has taken her to Cork, three hours away from Dublin and speaking on Wednesday's GAA Hour Show, she admitted that the distance prevented her from making plenty of training sessions.

"We're lucky in Dublin, there's three colleges that you can go to. There's a lot of jobs in Dublin. You generally don't have to leave it. A lot of the other girls might be in UCD or UL or whatever - there's travelling involved in that, the studying, living away from home for the first time..."

"So it's probably the first time from a Dublin point of view that it's been experienced. But there's people who are doing it constantly, club players travelling up and back..."

"No, I wouldn't be (at every training session). You can't exactly. It's a three hour journey so you wouldn't get up midweek. I'd train with the club, or do a session on my own. If I'm not working weekends then, I try to get up for training. Mick was really good about it, he never put any massive pressure on me to make it to certain sessions..."

We wonder would he be as accommodating if half the team were three hours away...

You can watch the full Noelle Healy interview, a Peter Leahy interview and loads more analysis of the ladies football finals here.