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New study finds players are spending up to 31 hours per week on inter-county commitments

The ERSI research also found that the main reason players retired was to focus on their professional careers.

Stephen Coen, Seamus Hickey and Seamus Flanagan
Stephen Coen, Seamus Hickey and Seamus Flanagan
Image: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

A NEW ERSI study has shed some light on the demands of being an inter-county player, with information on the time commitment involved, compromised sleep and injuries some of its major findings.

The research, which was commissioned by the GAA and GPA, used data from a 2016 survey of players to examine the toll playing inter-county has on their personal and professional lives.

The study found that players can spend up to 31 hours per week on their senior inter-county commitments. They compromised on personal relationships and general downtime to make time to play inter-county hurling or football. 

Another key finding was that players compromise on sleep with almost half of those surveyed not getting the eight to ten hours sleep recommended for athletes.

The main reason for players retiring was to focus on their professional careers. The second biggest reason for walking away from inter-county was because of injury. Interestingly, less than 5% of players reported stepping away because they were not enjoying the game while even fewer did so because it was too demanding.

40% of players admitted to not getting any time off from Gaelic games in 2016.

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Kevin O'Brien

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