John Mullane is bang on when talking about drinking bans and strict diets in the GAA 11 months ago

John Mullane is bang on when talking about drinking bans and strict diets in the GAA

Drinking bans.

There's a bit of sense in them.

If you're hungover or over indulging you're not going to perform at the highest level, it doesn't take having a degree in sports science to know that.

It also doesn't take having a degree to know that GAA is an amateur sport and that prolonged drinking bans are a little bit ridiculous.

Stories are often thrown around of how club and county teams could be on three-month drinking bans in the build up to championship and it's a bit much.

The new fad has really only recently come into GAA over the past five years or so and was never really a concept at the turn of the millennium.

One person that had an opinion in all of this was former Waterford hurler John Mullane.

The five-time All-Star was speaking on a recent episode of SportsJOE Live and he made his opinions clear:

"I’m a firm believer that if you have the work done and you train hard there has to be a bit of enjoyment brought to it," the 36-year-old said.

“I remember back in 2002, the first year Justin McCarthy came out and how times have changed.

“Two weeks before we played Cork in the Munster Championship we were going up to the Glens of Antrim and after six hours of travelling we arrived up at nine o’clock at night and there was a big fry waiting for us.

"And then Justin (McCarthy) comes in and says ‘keep it tidy now lads’ and we're all looking like ‘keep it tidy, what does he mean keep it tidy?’ keep it tidy meant go out on the beer.

"We played Antrim that Saturday evening then more drink followed, two weeks later we went out and we beat Cork then and then into the Munster final and two weeks before the Munster final same thing again down to Wexford, more beer.

"Two weeks later we went out and Tipperary were All-Ireland champions and we gave a complete performance. We won by 8 points," the former Waterford star remarked.

There is a sense that the game has become more and more professional over the years, so much so that players are almost celebrities and the colour of the game and the characters involved has been lost somewhere along the way.

“There’s a lot of characters gone out of the game, it’s all programmed now. And diets as well, I can’t get my head around diets. The new things out now is the portions they are eating," Mullane continued.

"Once you have the work done all the rest falls into place.

“Are they really enjoying it at the present moment in time? I just think it's monotonous, it’s repetition repetition repetition. For me, it’s all about winning but you have to have some memories and stories to look back on too."