"He has a common sense approach" - Finn impressed by Jerry O'Connor's management 2 months ago

"He has a common sense approach" - Finn impressed by Jerry O'Connor's management

Sean Finn says that Limerick's training camp in Portugal earlier this month was extremely enjoyable, and played a key role in preparing them for for the season ahead.

It was at the beginning of March - after the Galway game and before the Westmeath game - when Limerick jetted off to Portugal and Finn says that they got a good block of work done.


Training twice a day isn't something GAA players would be used to - which has prompted some to question the idea of training camps - but Finn says that the Limerick management balanced it well.

"You're not used to training twice a day, but you're there for that purpose to train, and the weather is nice.

"It's a great chance to spend some quality time with each other, and you do get quite a lot of work done over those number of days.

"Sometimes here, when lads are working and with other commitments, it can be hard to get the group together as much as you'd like.


"So it was extremely enjoyable."

Some would feel that the commitment involved in inter-county GAA has gone over-the-top, with training camps and what fuelling that opinion, but Finn says that the split season has eased the burden on players.

It meant that he was able to go travelling after the club championships while his team-mate Diarmaid Byrnes did the same, spending a month in Dubai.

"I did a good bit of travelling myself," says Finn.


"That's a huge positive of it.

"I went away for a couple of weeks and switched off.

"When you do get that chance, you do look forward to getting back into the routine of exercising and training hard.


"The nature of guys that are playing, they do like exercising and pushing themselves hard. So when January came, I was mad to get back into it."

Diarmaid Byrnes said the exact same thing that, when away, he was eager to get back into the swing of it. Obviously, Finn felt the same way but he does recognise the benefits of switching off when the chance arises.

"We're good at switching off. Maybe we're too good at it at times.

"But it is important to switch off, because the season is long enough as it is, when you've a club championship as well.

"So it's important not just to switch off physically, but mentally too so you're fit when you come back into it - mentally and physically - because there are quite a lot of demands. I have no problem switching off and I recognise the importance of it as well."


Another benefit of the split season is that it gives the club season a proper window of its own, and Finn put this to good use by captaining his club Bruff to the Limerick intermediate final.

It still pains him to look back on that game, which they lost to eventual All-Ireland champions Monaleen, but he does add that great progress was made.

"We didn't have a successful campaign, in that we didn't win the county final, but looking at the age profile of our group, we're very young.

"So we've learned a lot. As a group, it did take a couple of weeks to reflect on it.

"As a player, it's really positive that you do get to spend some quality time with the players from your club, and you get to bring some ideas from the inter-county set-up into the club, trying to enforce standards that weren't there maybe.

"So it's really positive. It gives us plenty of down-time as well."

Former Cork All-Ireland winner and Hurler of the Year (2005) Jerry O'Connor has been their coach for the last two years and having looked up to him when he was younger, Finn says that he hasn't disappointed as a coach.

The Newtownshandrum clubman is stationed in Bruff as a Garda and has coached the town's hurling team for the last couple of years.

"Jerry is a great guy and knows his stuff and played on the biggest stage and won the biggest of awards that there are to be won.

"He's been really good for us the last couple of years, really good with the young lads but knows how to manage the whole group.

"He has a common sense kind of approach, in terms of managing the players, whether they're playing with the college or inter-county teams.

"So I really enjoyed working with him. He's really honest, really fair and that's a great way to manage."

Optimum Nutrition®, the world's number 1 sports nutrition brand[1], and part of the Glanbia Performance Nutrition brand family, has today been unveiled as the Official Performance Nutrition Partner of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) in a new three-year partnership. Sean Finn was speaking at the launch.