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'Players have to be in good form... if it's important for a horse, it's surely important for a human'

Len Gaynor is our guest on this week’s episode of Warriors.

Gaynor, centre, celebrates after steering Tipp to the 1997 All-Ireland final.
Gaynor, centre, celebrates after steering Tipp to the 1997 All-Ireland final.
Image: © INPHO/Patrick Bolger
TIPPERARY LEGEND LEN Gaynor joins us this week on Warriors, the GAA podcast exclusive to The42 Members, to reflect on a stellar hurling career which included three All-Irelands, four Munster titles and two National Leagues as a player.

After hanging up his hurley, Len went on to have plenty of managerial success with his club Kilruane-MacDonaghs, leading them to All-Ireland club glory, and also had memorable stints in charge of both the Clare and Tipperary senior hurlers.

It’s all chronicled in his new autobiography Chiselled From Ash, written with Shane Brophy and published by Hero Books.

On the pod Len also discusses life after hurling, how he’s coping with the lack of live GAA during the pandemic, and shares some of the lessons learned from his life in the game.

“I was listening to Aidan O’Brien one day, the great horse trainer,” he recalls, ”and he was asked after one of his horses won a big race a couple of years ago, the reporter asked him did he know his horse was going to win.

“He said, ‘I knew he was going to run well because he was training with a smile on his face for the last couple of weeks.’ I thought it was an extraordinary statement and it just brought home to me that players, hurling teams, whatever teams, they have to be in good form too before they can perform well. It brought that home to me, that if it’s important for a horse, it’s surely important for a human to be in good form.

“That’s where good management comes in, that they’re able to have their players well brought out and have their minds ready for the game and be in a happy mood and not to be worrying about who they’re going to be marking or if they’re going to drive balls wide, not to be worrying about anything like that, to get out there and enjoy the game and then you’ll play all the better.” 

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