Which is more attritional?

Had a conversation here on hearing of Jackie Tyrrell’s retirement about the longevity of hurling careers v football careers. JT was 34. Tommy Walsh went at 31 [but was that just an age thing?!]

Anyway Ray Boyne did an interesting study on the distances covered in various sports a couple of years back – see http://www.joe.ie/sport/pic-fascinating-graph-reveals-the-amount-of-distance-covered-by-gaa-players-compared-to-other-sports/425023 - unfortunately it doesn’t include hurling.
Personally I would think that football is attritionally a bit tougher than hurling. I would imagine in the modern game a footballer covers a lot more ground than a hurler. The stick men don’t hand pass the sliothar the length of the pitch (thank God!) and the ball does a lot more of the work. Players too tend to stick more to their positions (though this is changing all the time!) a lot more.

So it would seem that football is a little more physically taxing to play than hurling? Anyone agree/ disagree?


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On the legs, I’d agree. On the rest of the body, hurling took a greater toll!

Your best days are behind you at senior inter county football at 31 in my view . Club football you can play a bit longer and anyone who plays senior club in dublin can move down the intermediate ranks and play well into their 40’s if they wanted to as they’d have banks of fitness built up . But at senior club level you’re done about 34 at a maximum- you get rare exceptions obviously

Hurling you can survive at senior county till about 33 - after that it’s time to go. you could well play senior club hurling into your 40’s though if you’ve been a county player


Would agree with all of the points above…

yea i’d agree with that.

On the football side, we have a great chance of a three in a row next year – a amssive chance of immortality IMO. After that things will get ropey when lads like flynn, connolly, MDMA and other go the wrong side of 30, and Cluxton and Brogan possibly gone

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Would agree with that B and it’s interesting to look at the intercounty scene in recent years in this regard.

That there is huge competition for places in Dublin probably makes us a little different. Bryan Cullen retired at 30, Ger too - though more injury forced. Alan went on until he was 33 but was used sparingly in the last couple of years. Bernard is 32 now too and already accepts he may be an impact player next year. The biggest exceptions are Denis Bastick who is 35 … and Stephen Cluxton!!

Elsewhere the recently retired Marc O’Se is 36, as is Aidan O’Mahony. Gooch and Donaghy are both 33 while Donncha Walsh is 32 and Sheehan 31. Only Sean Cavanagh at 33 is a worry for Tyrone - similar to Andy Moran in Mayo.

When he goes I’m officially old…

Anecdotally, I’d imagine footballers get far more career limiting injuries than hurlers. If true that would have a serious effect on longevity.

Our northern intercounty brethren can go until they are 62 given they only ever use one half of the pitch. Legs last twice as long don’t you know.