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INPHO/Donall Farmer
# college man
Different class: Michael Fennelly writing thesis on GPS in hurling
Kilkenny hurlers never needed a Sat-Nav to find the posts before however.

MICHAEL FENNELLY IS facing a race to be fit to face Cork in Thurles on Sunday afternoon in the sides’ All-Ireland SHC quarter-final.

But the Ballyhale man says college life has allowed him to go the extra mile in a bid to line out against the Rebels.

“I wasn’t playing the games the last few weeks,” says Fennelly who is based in Limerick these days as he has returned to college to study in UL, “but I have been keeping busy with college work. It’s not as demanding on the body — you can concentrate a bit more on hurling because you have time to go to the gym or go to the pool. You have time to concentrate on the skills. It has been great, it has been refreshing to go back to college.

“I’ve learned a lot down there and I have my thesis to start now on GPS on hurlers so that should be interesting.”

The All Star midfielder admits hurling is lagging behind when it comes to using technology available to players and coaches.

“There has been no science done in hurling and especially in GPS there has been nothing ever published or anything like that so that is all there that has to be done,” he says.

“Obviously you will get results from GPS, how many sprints a player does, his heart-rate, how often does he rest and so on. That will tell you exactly how you should be training. Back in the old days lads were doing laps around the field, that has changed significantly. You are just doing sprints now. Maybe it will change again in a year or two. It is constantly changing, whether it is right or wrong who knows, but the science will tell.

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“There has been a bit more done in football. The Tyrone boys are obviously using the GPS.

He continues: “But [GPA] costs a fortune. Some colleges have them and because they cost so much money some counties might rent them off colleges. Some companies have them and you can rent them for a couple of days.

“I think it could be €100 a day for one unit. And I think it is only in place like Dublin that would have them so you might only get to bring them back the next day so that would be €200. So it is quite expensive.”

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