Maurice Fitzgerald's build up to an All-Ireland was very unorthodox... but very Irish 6 years ago

Maurice Fitzgerald's build up to an All-Ireland was very unorthodox... but very Irish

What's seldom is wonderful and this is very much the case when one of the best footballers of all time speaks out.

Maurice Fitzgerald was a bit like Ciaran McDonald in that he let his talent and ability with ball in hand speak more than any words in a newspaper or in soundbites after a game.

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The two-time All-Ireland winner picked up Celtic crosses in 1997 and 2000, but his pre-match build up is not something that any sports scientist would be too happy with.

Fitzgerald has told the Irish Times that he would often miss team training the week of a final in Killarney and instead would stick to his own routine to get ready for Croke Park down in his home town of Cahirsiveen,

"These lads would be getting very excited above in Killarney and if I went up I’d be listening to this kip o’ the reel from all of them and it would tire me out. I couldn’t be listening to all this joking around. I needed a bit of time out. So I used to go for a few cones with Kieran McCarthy down in Cahirsiveen.

"The idea of going up and down for two hours didn’t really appeal to me and in fairness, a lot of it would have been chit-chat and talking and I felt I wanted to hone down on getting my kicking right and things like that. I was probably doing a bit of fine-tuning. Or else I was gone for a 99 ."

We doubt that a 99 would feature highly in any players' pre-match meals but it didn't seem to do Fitzgerlad any harm.

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