Sports

Coulter Calls It

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

CLUB players throughout Ireland will be enjoying well deserved rests after long seasons but it is also important that they keep their bodies ticking over in the off season as it's very hard to get back into physical fitness quickly if you have left yourself with too much to do in pre season.

James McCartan was always telling me that I had to keep myself in shape before I landed back to Down or it would have been an uphill battle to try get myself into shape for the National League and now that's what club managers expect from their players.

Club football is now where inter-county was ten years ago, - it's that serious!

Club football is big business and clubs throughout Ireland have the best facilities to ensure that the clubs gives themselves the best chances of winning stuff. I was never the fittest player in the world but I sure did work hard at that end of stuff and it wasn't as if I was naturally fit.

The two hardest and fittest players I ever work with were Ronan Sexton and Danny Hughes both were super fit but they also put in the hard work. Never would both except anything less than the best from themselves and there teammates and that's why both were winners. I train in the same gym as Danny and it amazes me how fit he is at the minute and he no longer plays. County players and club players could take a leaf out of his book and train the way he does.

The Leinster Club Final was called off over the weekend but I don't understand why the Leinster Council had not a second pitch ready to go like Parnell Park or even Croke Park as it had been known for ages what conditions were going to be like. If that was an O'Byrne cup match they would have got the game played, so the lack of action just shows the total disrespect to the club players throughout Ireland.

To be playing your most important game ever only seven days before Christmas is simply not good enough and it needs to be looks at.

Reports are indicating the Niall Madine has rejoined the Down panel, which is a great boost for the county as he adds something different than the other players we have. Niall now needs to knuckle down and put the hard work in and get himself into the best shape he has ever been in as I think this may be his last chance to prove that he can cut it with the county. There is absolutely no question that he has all the ability but needs to show that he wants it

I would like to congratulate Aidan Carr on a great county career. Aidan was a very good player for Down and he was a good character around the dressing room and we both enjoyed each other's company.

He was probably unfortunate that he could play in various positions and I believe that his versatility maybe cost him a position in Down's senior team.

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