O'Kane takes fresh approach to Championship
Gerard O’Kane picked up an injury in the McKenna Cup final against Tyrone, but made his Derry return for round three of the National League against Monaghan. Given the fact that he picked up the second injury just two days later, hindsight now tells O’Kane that he perhaps made his comeback a little bit too soon.
“I was playing McKenna Cup and was going reasonably well. Then I got hurt and missed the first two league game, there was a break for three weeks so I thought that if I sat that out, then I’d be OK to come straight back in again. I came through the game alright, but the Tuesday night after it I hurt it again.
“I maybe come back from the first injury a wee bit too early, and got hurt after only playing one game. I was a wee bit too eager. This time, I’m taking my time, sticking to my own schedule, and making sure that I’m fitter and stronger than I was the last time I came back.”
O’Kane is brutally honest in his recollections of those few weeks following his most recent injury. He needed to get away from it all, a clean break from all football and everything to do with it. It was the only way he could keep himself sane, with only an intervention from one of his colleagues convincing him that his season still had plenty to offer.
“The three weeks after the injury I just took totally out, away on my own. It was more of a mental thing to be honest. I just needed the time to myself, didn’t go near a football, didn’t go near training, didn’t go near the gym, nothing.
“It was probably talking to Joe Diver that helped turn me around. He never played a match in the National League last year, and he came into the championship fresh. That’s what I’m looking for now.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published Thursday May 10. Buy your copy now in your newsagent, or online by clicking the subscribe button on this page