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'I'm a big fan of the GAA' - Stephen Hunt defends article that caused a bit of a storm

The Ipswich Town players took to the airwaves last night.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

STEPHEN HUNT HAS launched a defence of his article in last weekend’s Sunday Independent that saw him receive stinging criticism from GAA players.

Hunt spoke on RTÉ 2FM’s show GameOn last night and revealed his admiration for inter-county players, stressing that he ‘is a big fan of the GAA’.

The Ipswich Town player had suggested that GAA players would not be able to handle the lifestyle of a professional footballer and it did not go down well.

Last night Hunt sought to explain his views.

“From a GAA point of view, I’m probably one of the biggest fans in terms of being a soccer player towards the GAA. In terms of what I said, if hurlers and footballers turn professional – which obviously would be great if they did in five six years time if it goes down that route – they would require rest.

“One their training intensity would go up and their bodies might not be able to deal with it. I was just trying to lay across the difference between amateurs and professionals. Now I’m a big fan of GAA.

“Obviously people have got the wrong way of what I was trying to get across. For sure there’s a massive difference. I’m not saying they couldn’t deal with it but there’s a high ratio of people who come across to England fail and go back because it’s a different level.

Liam Dunne Wexford hurling boss Liam Dunne Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“I understand when I say rest, it seems lazy. But that is the best thing to do as a professional athlete. I am not saying they don’t train hard, I know they everything they have.

“I turned up in Wexford during the summer with Liam Dunne and the Wexford hurling team. I bought into all their ideas of how to train and I absolutely loved it. Having the discipline to turn to rest, it’s not as easy as it seems.”

How Stephen Hunt ended up in a row over GAA players’ commitment

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Fintan O'Toole

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