Michael Fitzsimons adds serious muscle to his frame and people have noticed
It is hard to believe Michael Fitzsimons is now into his eight season as a senior inter-county footballer.
The Cuala defender made his senior Dublin debut back in 2010 and looked like this:
Seven years on and not much has changed, except his medal haul [5 Leinster titles, four All-Irelands and three league triumphs]. Aged 27 now, Fitzsimons looks as fresh-faced as ever.
There has been a significant alteration in his physique, however, and it has occurred over the euphemistically termed 'winter break'.
Fans watching Dublin's draw with Donegal on TV, or at the game, would have noticed it. Last night at Croke Park, another 35,000 saw that the rumours were true - Fitzsimons has come into 2017 in serious physical shape.
Fitzsimons must have ate weights over the winter. #GAA
— John Fogarty (@JohnFogartyIrl) March 4, 2017
Fitzsimons has added significant timber, and definition, to his upper body and it is noticeable.
Diarmuid Connolly, Johnny Cooper and Dean Rock are notable Dubs that pack serious muscle. It is clear, though, that Fitzsimons has been putting in some long hours in the gym and conditioning his body for a season that could end with Dublin claiming three-in-a-row All-Ireland glory.
Having found himself slip back to supporting roles for some crucial games last season, Fitzsimons seems to be leaving no stone un-turned as he beds into and already formidable Dublin defence.
The difference between Fitzsimons now and 2012 [below] is clear:
Andy Moran and Evan Reagan certainly knew all about it last night in Dublin's 12-point win over Mayo.
Moran didn't get any change out of the Dubliner and he was hounded all night.
As for Reagan, he was left dazed [and bloodied] by this coming together with the newly bulked up defender.
Reagan had to leave as a blood sub as Fitzsimons carried on with the business of not giving the men from the west a single sniff.
This man has an absolute need to be one of Dublin's main men this summer. It is clear to see.