Everything is geared towards football
for new Kildare captain EAMONN CALLAGHAN
We train on the pitch Tuesday and Thursday and then maybe another pitch session at the weekend, or a challenge match or a match between ourselves. You’re on the pitch four days a week probably. After that you’re in the gym doing your own stuff, it could be another day or two depending on the workload you have. On the day off, you’re probably doing rehab, I would be anyway!
Myself and Mikey Conway are still living together. We’re both sort of struggling to get back from injuries at the moment. We have a good bit of craic and a few of the lads call over now and again so it’s good a meeting point like that.
My day off normally consists of going to the gym and trying to iron out a couple of injury issues so that I can get back training the next day. That’s just the way it’s gone and sometimes you might be training twice a day. You could get up and go to the pool and do a swimming session and then go training in the evening. You just go with the flow and it kind of takes over, work and family and other things kind of just filter around it.
Preparations for training begin the night before. You would make sure that you get to bed early and get a good sleep. You might be up for work the next day and straight away you are thinking about what you are eating. You have to watch what you take in during the day, you have to keep hydrated and everything is just geared towards getting you ready for training at 7pm that evening or whatever time it is on at. The minute it is over you’re thinking that you are in the gym the next day so you have to take in the right food and get to bed early. It’s just constant. You don’t really get a break from it but I enjoy it, I think most lads do. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be able to do it.
I usually eat something in the morning. I didn’t always eat in the morning but something I have been focusing on this year is to get a good breakfast into me. You’d have a big lunch and then something light before the training session. You wouldn’t want to eat a whole lot directly before training or you would be seeing it again. You have to plan out your meals and when you are going to eat because if you go a couple of hours without eating and then have a big meal before training, it’s going to come back up – a few lads would be able to testify to that.
A GUARD’S LIFE
The Guards is a great job and they have been brilliant to me. I’m working shifts at the minute and it can be hard at times. You could be working nights and early mornings and there are times when you go to work straight from training in the evening. I use a lot of my holidays and annual leave to take time off for training and matches and stuff and they’ve been very understanding with that. Especially with football, you might get a call on Friday saying there is training on Saturday morning and I’d have to make a few phone calls myself to swap a few things around. The Guards are very understanding with me though and that does help because a lot of pressure is put on the players from work. It’s the same as any of the other players though, they can’t work weekends or in the evening times but they kind of work around it.
BIG GAME PREP
I never have any problem sleeping the night before a game, trying to get me out of the bed is another thing! I like sleeping as much as I can. The morning of a game I might get up early to get something to eat and then go back to bed until the last minute. I’ll be jumping out of bed and heading straight to the bus. As a team then we will have some food and it’s just a routine you have. You wouldn’t eat too much on the day of a match, depending on what time it is.
If it’s 2pm or 3pm, you wouldn’t be eating too much before it. I prefer to eat a lot the day before a game and drink a lot of water and then I wouldn’t eat so much on the day of a game. My preparation for the game would start the day before. Sometimes we stay away the night before a game and I don’t have an issue with the hotel thing but my room mate normally does because I like sleeping with the television on. Sometimes it is Mikey Conway or it was James Kavanagh for years, he used to go mad. In 2010, we spent a lot of time in hotels before games and I think it helped us that year, everybody is together and everybody is doing the same preparation and there was maybe more of a bond. I’m happy enough either way and it doesn’t really effect me.
GOING TO THE GAME
On the way to a game I’ll have my I-pod and I-phone and I’ll be listening to music and trying to stay relaxed. I like to have a bit of craic before the game rather than thinking a whole lot about it. All the preparation is done at that stage so I just like to relax. It’s earphones in and then have a bit of craic with the lads. I can’t say what I listen to, I’d get a bit of slagging over that!
Once we get to the ground, I like to have a walk around the pitch and just have a look around at the stand or the crowd or whatever whether it’s Croke Park or Portlaoise. I wouldn’t have too many superstitions really but once I get back to dressing room it’s time to really start focusing on the job in hand.
Championship games are so fast and if you have played a full championship game you really feel it in your legs the next day. The ground is normally hard and you’ll always pick up a few knocks so usually the next day you will go to the pool or get to an ice bath to get the legs sorted out. You’d get a big breakfast into you too, maybe meet up with some of the lads and talk about the game. It’s just about getting back into your routine. You’ll enjoy it that evening but the next day it’s already about focusing on the next game. You’ll know when you are playing again so you will want to get the body right or get any knocks looked after.