The 17 people you'll find in every single GAA warm-up
There's no diversity anywhere in the world like there is on a GAA team.
Only in the GAA would lads be playing with their fathers.
Only in the GAA would teenagers studying at school, wearing pink boots, be lining out with the parish psycho.
Only in the GAA would you find a haven for the best athlete in the country and have him sharing a changing room with someone who happily let the drink find him.
Quiz: Which classic club GAA player are you? Take the test to find out https://t.co/VkP3RU0Ite
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 17, 2016
It comes to light before games on a Sunday. It becomes very damn obvious, the unique differences that make up a GAA team when they're released into the wild of a football field and someone tries to keep them under control.
A warm-up can be the most challenging task for any manager and it can be the most frustrating task for any player.
Here are the classic GAA folk you're bound to find in any GAA warm-up.
1. The one taking shots
This player is exempt from the misery the rest of you are being put through. Probably takes the frees, maybe just wants to take the frees, but whilst everyone is sprinting and knocking lumps out of one another, this is a picture of serenity, lining up the posts and hitting balls at their leisure.
2. The disgruntled substitute
Dragging their heels, sighing, conspiring with players one-by-one about how shite the team is. Might even talk about going home: "F**k it, I don't need this sh*t." Comes alive in the possession games alright, hammering into anything that moves. Fists flailing, body checking, studs stamping. A bad person to have in the warm-up.
3. The controlling manager
Their chance to show the crowd how well-drilled the side is so he takes a training session for an hour before the game, absolutely screaming out of him for more intensity.
4. The player who won't stop looking at the other team
Asking if their key player is there. Asking people to point out the player he/she'll be marking. Asking if they're any good. "They don't look that big"; "They must have a few injuries"; "Are they missing some lads?"; "They're not taking it too seriously anyway."
5. The player telling you there's too much talk
Focus on your stretches.
6. The player telling you you're too quiet
Not enough talk.
7. The one who claims territory
Antagonising, disrespectful, whatever - this player is here to put down a marker and will actively encourage the rest of the team into the other's half. Most likely to kick over opposition cones and boot footballs away.
8. The late-comer
Strolls down leisurely at their own pace, it might have even took a late phone call to get them there. Waltzes out eventually, kicks a few balls around, expects you to be thankful they've bothered to show up.
9. The manager with a fag
Couldn't be arsed. Tells you you're old enough now to take your own warm-up.
10. The injured player doing their own warm-up
Whilst the rest of the team is running, desperately trying to find a second wind, this player is sprawled across the turf doing stretches you've never seen before. The physio told them to do it though, so don't bother them.
11. The maniac
Aggressive, boisterous, roaring and shouting. This player is going to war and you're going with them. Demands that you hit them harder. Stay away from this player during the warm-up.
12. The one trying to impress
Flying ahead of everyone as you jog across the pitch. Organising everyone, first at the cones for all the drills. You're not playing, get over it.
13. The one who couldn't be arsed
Walking behind as everyone jogs across the pitch. Spending more time with the water. Will look away during the huddle talks. They build up at their own pace.
14. The player looking for a glove
"If you come on, I'll give it back to you."
15. The ones who step out of the drill
They're not enjoying the intensity or the maniac so they'll step aside and do their own stretches until the tackling is done with. Might fake tightness or even just run to the toilet.
16. The ritual player
No matter how early they arrive, they're always last on the field because they won't leave the changing room until everyone is gone. Will tie their laces continuously, pick up grass, sprint through shuttle runs from the end line to the 13' and maybe even change socks/shorts/or underarmour when you go back inside for the jerseys.
17. The ones visibly shitting themselves
Pale, quiet, wide-eyed. You know they're going to get brought off in the first half.