"We were doing ground hurling drills with Anthony Daly" - Treacy on hurling's changes in his 11 years
When it comes to Dublin hurling, David Treacy has seen it all.
It's hard to believe it but the Cuala man is now beginning his 11th year as a Dublin senior hurler.
First drafted in by Anthony Daly as a sprightly 18-year-old with golden wrists and potential to burn in 2009, Treacy hit the ground running from the word go and by the All-Ireland quarter final against Limerick that summer, the teenager was their dangerous corner forward and he was the hottest ticket in Dublin hurling.
He would become a mainstay of the Daly era, a watershed period for Dublin hurling, starring in their National League triumph in 2011 and their historic Leinster title win in 2013 - the county's first in 52 years.
Since then, the Dublin hurlers' progress has stalled but Treacy has been an ever-present the whole way through and preparing for the 2019 season under new boss Mattie Kenny, he's optimistic for what lies ahead.
Speaking at the launch of Future Proof Media on Wednesday, the 29-year-old looks back on those early days fondly and though he admits the game has changed immeasurably - both in Dublin and in general in the meantime, he's still loving every minute of it.
"The professionalism across the board is unbelievable. From a nutrition perspective to a strength and conditioning perspective to simple things like when you arrive to training - if you were injured you just didn't train. You just watched and now you're being dogged harder if you're not training," he began.
It's the small things - you wouldn't notice them at the time because things are constantly changing, but looking back, looking a few years back, that's when you realise.
"At the moment I cannot wait to get back on the pitch - (Because he's on a rigorous training regime at the moment during his recovery from a minor injury)
It's simple things like that that's completely transformed it in terms of how people look at the game. It's such fine margins now at the top, especially in hurling at the minute.
"The Association as a whole, the way the championship’s gone, and the way strength and conditioning has gone in Ireland...Every year there was something new. There’s different amounts of testing, physiotherapy, nutrition."
"It’s only now when you have hindsight and you can look back - you wouldn’t have noticed it year on year. Now you look back on where you were 11 years ago and it’s a completely different style of training," he adds.
Prior to the arrival of their saviour from Clare way back when, Dublin hurling was in the doldrums. The poor relation in a county where football was the top dog, there was little investment and little magic involved in hurling for Dublin.
Daly changed that, with his passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of the game - but fast forward ten more years, and hurling has changed even more again.
"Like, I mean, we were doing ground hurling drills with Anthony Daly. The way the game has gone, it’s not obsolete, the skill is there but it’s not a focus anymore. It changes and it moves every single year."
We all remember the ground hurling only matches, the pucking the length of the field with a partner - there's not much of it anymore.
"It certainly has. I just love being involved in that dressing room. Obviously, running and the slog, it just has to be done. You enjoy the feeling you feel after it.
And though the professionalism and time-commitments have increased, it's still every bit as enjoyable.
"And you enjoy winning and being able to represent your county. Obviously, I’m playing with my brother this year - it’s great for my parents and I’m enjoying that as well. They enjoyment factor, without doubt, is still there for me."
Dublin hurler David Treacy at the launch of Future Proof Media, the low cost, jargon free marketing consultants. Visit www.futureproofmedia.ie to see how they can help you grow your business.