"Ice baths yesterday, physio tomorrow, a pool session and a kick" - How Mickey Quinn keeps the show on the road
Mickey Quinn made his 100th appearance for Longford back in March but, after ten years in blue and yellow, the only reason he knew he'd reached that milestone is because he totted them up himself.
It really is an incredible achievement - whether you're from Cork or Leitrim or Dublin or Fermanagh - to play 100 games for your county and, after all that commitment and all those sacrifices, it goes without saying that, in some way or another, it should be recognised.
Quinn's Longford team-mates and his manager Billy O'Loughlin presented him with a framed jersey on the day and, when he joined Darran O'Sullivan for a chat on this Monday's GAA Hour, Quinn talked about reaching the century and what it all meant to him. He also makes the point that, given the effort that goes into it, all counties should be keeping track of stats like these to honour their foremost stalwarts.
"It actually came about from totting it up myself. I seen Aidan O'Shea hit 130 or 150 and I'm the same age, so I was looking to see what was the difference there," says the Killoe Young Emmetts man.
Manager Billy O'Loughlin presented Longford captain Mickey Quinn with a framed shirt to commemorate his 100th appearance for the county in March 2022. Mickey was joined by his family and teammates to commerate this fantastic achievement by one of the greats of Longford football. pic.twitter.com/0hCF0WCDW7
— Longford GAA (@OfficialLDGAA) May 3, 2022
"It was a nice token, one of those things that's nice to have. It's something you'd love to see every county doing, chalking down everyone's games to see who's been around the most.
"You're looking at Paul Barden, Dermot Brady for us. I met Dermot and he told me he was 17 years playing! So I think he's well past the 100, maybe closer to 200."
As a youngster, Quinn made the move Down Under to the AFL and - with the passing of time and ageing body - he talked about how his approach to keeping match-fit has changed. It's something that the more senior players among us could take not of.
"Oh everything changes. I was lucky enough, Australia gave me that perspective on things, my reason for playing has always been family and what it gives them and your closest friends.
"It's not the actual training. It's the added extras - I'd prefer to go heavy, load up one day and then have the full day off the next. The mental load adds up when you're training every single day. Less is more, and lads have realised that at county level. You're not slogging away four, five, six nights."
Longford's Mickey Quinn has some skills 🏃♂️pic.twitter.com/ydfo8hQEiK
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) March 22, 2020
"So now, it's ice baths yesterday, chiropractor today, physio tomorrow and then a pool session and a kick. They're all the little things you're trying to do to get the body right. The younger guys just want to kick ball - you do too but the body mightn't let you as much as you want to."
As for the Tailteann Cup, Quinn feels it has the potential to re-invigorate the championship for counties such as Longford, and he's raring for their clash against Fermanagh this Saturday in Pearse Park.
"We may have to tweak and change things after this year do you know. A holiday for finalists as well as the winners is something that could be looked at. Whether it be an All-Stars or not as well, some players might buy into that but I suppose the big thing is that there's recognition, that it is competitive, that it's not just a token competition.
"Like, if it doesn't go well this year, it shouldn't be scrapped and the toys thrown out of the pram. It has to be a long-term thing."