Steven McDonnell and Colm Parkinson's stories about GAA expenses are absolute gold 2 years ago

Steven McDonnell and Colm Parkinson's stories about GAA expenses are absolute gold

For the love of the game... and the generous expenses at the end of the month.

No-one's going to argue with you that it's a bloody tough slog being a county player. Just getting to the standard requires serious commitment, serious work rate and serious discipline.

Everything from your time keeping, your nutrition, your sleeping and the physical demands you put your body through are downright pivotal to reach the top. Then to stay there requires even more work.

Anyone who even so much as went to college with a county player would know all about it. Whilst the rest of you were getting ready to go out or to lie around or walk down the street for 5-a-side or even dinner, your mate was away on down the road for training. You probably wouldn't even see him when he got back.

There were, however, a few perks along that road.

"My commute from Dublin to Laois for training, I used to be hitting a thousand quid a month coming down three nights a week for training," Colm Parkinson said on the latest GAA Hour football show.

"It is a great earner and that's tax free. It's a super few quid at the end of the month.

"We used to meet up at An Poitín Still [Naas Road, Dublin] so we'd carpool down in four and only one car is doing the bulk of the driving but we all put in for four separate expenses. I was getting a nice few quid out of these expenses but they've tightened up on that now."

Steven McDonnell weighed in.

"Don't be letting the secret out!

"You used to hear stories of the guys going around the car park counting how many cars were actually there.

"If a player is travelling, I actually think he's entitled to his mileage for taking time out of his own daily regime to go and train with the inter-county team regardless of whether he's carpooling or not."

It carried on. Former Laois and Armagh players - unlikely foes - now trading war* stories.

*Expenses stories.

CP: "Expenses are expenses but people might be surprised at how much they add up. I had a friend who thought he was playing semi-professional soccer getting 20 quid a night. I used to be like, 'sure I'm getting a hundred for just driving down here.' And it's the amateur game!"

SMcD: "They're handed that in a wee brown envelope and it makes you feel great. I remember playing youth soccer and reserve soccer for Glenavon and getting a brown envelope on a Saturday and there was a fiver in it. I was delighted with that!"

CP: "And we complain that we're not looked after in the GAA."

Listen to the full chat below.