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Tommy Dickson/INPHO Well read: Burke flies through the books.
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A friend recommends: Meath's Mickey Burke on Narcos, nutrition and Niall Quinn's book
The Royal County fan favourite didn’t discover Netflix until the country started to self-isolate.

What people do with their so-called free time has changed drastically in the past four weeks as restrictions on our movements were implemented. We have turned to streaming services, television, books, podcasts and other forms of entertainment for those restful periods we need more than ever. But have you wasted a lot of that time frantically searching for “the perfect” watch, or been too distracted by lists of books to just … start one? Us too. So, and have teamed up to ask for solid recommendations we can share with you all. Last time, Sarah Rowe and Sean O’Brien told us about Oprah Winfery’s book and a Netflix series about living off the land.
Today’s tips come from Royal County hero, Mickey Burke. 

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN an avid reader. 

It’s something my mother, being a former primary school teacher, encouraged me to do. My house is littered with sports autobiographies. I’m always interested to see if I can find any nugget of information or 1% advantage from these that I can use myself going into battle!  

I’ll start with the most recent book I’ve read, which was Eddie Jones’ autobiography

The England manager may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but his book is very interesting. He suffered plenty of racial discrimination as a youngster and coming from a poor family he really had to fight his way to the top. He was a workaholic as a young man, a quality he says his mother gave him, eventually qualifying to be a teacher, but he knew his calling was high level rugby coaching. 

An obsessive thinker of the game, his book is mind-boggling in the tactics and training methods he uses. He may polarise opinion but his book is full of little gems and definitely gets a thumbs up for me. 

I’m also hugely passionate about food and diet, and one of the positives about being in isolation is that it has given me more time to hone my cooking skills in the kitchen.

I’m studying to become a Performance Nutritionist and Daniel Davey’s book, ‘Eat Up and Raise Your Game’ is brilliant in helping me become a better chef. Daniel has a lovely easy way of explaining how to cook anything from a simple porridge to burgers with sweet potato wedges. My girlfriend and myself have been busy baking bread and cooking high protein snacks to nibble on with a cup of coffee. I’ve worked with Daniel with my own nutrition programme with the Meath footballers and hurlers and the man’s knowledge is incredible.

The book is a must for all the foodies out there.

The last book I’ll go with is Niall Quinn’s, which I found for sale at the back of some book shelf in a cafe. I was hooked from the start. It was hilarious, sad, funny, scary, it had everything. 

Quinn was a brilliant underage hurler who represented the Dublin minors before being snapped up by Arsenal. He didn’t even think he was a good player himself and felt completely out of his depth. He speaks candidly about personal issues, his injuries, and he talks about Roy Keane and Saipan, all with a touch of humour. 

The book is just brilliant, one of the funniest I’ve read. 

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I’m ashamed to say I’ve never watched Netflix until we were told to isolate last week! But I’ve got hooked on Narcos, the story of Pablo Escobar. I’m just finding the programme so interesting, a man making $60million a day from drugs and how he controlled the police and his city. 

The other one I’ve watched is Westside vs The World

This is about a powerlifting gym in Columbus. Ohio, owned by the legendary Louie Simmons. The world’s greatest powerlifters train there and have broken numerous World Records. The training in Westside is brutal. Simmons is the godfather of powerlifting and his methods are used by many NFL teams and Olympic athletes around the world.

I’d finally just like to say to everyone to take care and stay safe during this time. 

A simple thing during this time is to eat well. Make sure you have a good mix of fruit and vegetables in your diet. Stay well hydrated, drinking plenty of water, and where possible get out and go for a walk or a run, or do a mini circuit of press-ups, jumping jack’s, squats etc. A healthy body is a healthy mind. 

The GAA Community is full of great people who pull together when times get tough. We will get through this together 

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