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Recovery & the Replay - How will Dublin & Kerry prepare?

The 132nd GAA football final did not disappoint. The speculation and anticipation leading up to this game was divided - some eagerly awaiting the Kingdom to overthrow the Capital, others reveling in the prospect of witnessing GAA history. In the 132 year history, no team has managed to retain the Sam Maguire for 5 consecutive years. This was Dublin’s chance. Kerry were tasked with taking Sam home for the first time in 5 years.

The Desire & Hunger of the Teams for the Win

Dublin had the first point on the scoreboard in the opening 17 seconds and were leading by 4 points at halftime. Then they were a man down from there and Kerry were battling hard. Both teams were within points of each other for most of the game, reducing to a point difference for the final minutes, Kerry’s ferocity may have been their down fall - maybe if they had slowed play when they had the point advantage and the seconds were ticking away on the clock they would have been crowned 2019 Champions. A marker of the desire and hunger of the team, they kept pushing to attack giving Dublin a chance to win the ball and that (near) fatal last point. The point brought the teams level with 90 seconds on the clock and a careless foul by Kerry’s Sean O’Shea on Dublin’s Dean Small left Dublin with a free-kick to win. Dean Rock, a reliable match-winning kicker in the past, put it wide on the day - the teams remained level when they final whistle blew after the Kerry keeper kicked out after Dublin's close-miss.

For Kerry, the dream of defeating Dublin remains, for Dublin the drive for five stays alive and the battle will recommence again in a couple of weeks time.

Performance Analysis Technology in Sport

As well as powerful play and engrossing competition, Sundays Final again showed the application of performance analysis technology in the sport - with Hawk Eye being consulted to aid the ref in making a call and disallowing Cormac Costelloe’s point approaching the 70th minute. In addition to driving match-performance forward, science and technology will undoubtedly play a role in the recovery and preparation process for both teams.

And now the replay – how will they prepare?

Replays are an unenviable reality for elite and professional sport. Players and coaches have been gearing an entire season to sustain peak condition for the performance and now the huge ask will be placed on players to recover and go again, when most had been eagerly awaiting some well-deserved time off after the season-ending Final. How the teams respond to these two weeks will invariably dictate who comes out on top.

We know that it can take up to 5  days for top players to emotionally and mentally recover after an intense match-final, let alone physically repair and prepare to go again. Managers, staff and players will need psychological strength over this week to allow them to push forward and ensure physiological readiness for performance in two weeks and hopefully not take on board any injury risk - injury risk is inevitably increased during these replay periods.

The replay will take play on September 14th and we eagerly await another close-battle - may the best (recovered!) team win…..


Learn more about preparing teams for elite performance

This careful balance and synergy between psychological and physical preparation is exactly what we strive to educate our Sports Degree students here at Portobello Institute about. Our degree programmes produce graduates who are prepared to become part of elite performance teams, whether from a performance analysis perspective (delivery key feedback from the match), psychological perspective (managing emotional and mental recovery) or physical perspective (reducing injury risk and maintaining performance-conditioning).

With four degrees on offer, you can choose to study full-time or if working full-time, the flexible mode of delivery might suit you best.

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