Christy Ring Cup final – Antrim v Carlow – Saturday, Croke Park 5pm
In an extended interview in this week’s Gaelic Life, Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton reveals the role played by Down footballing legend DJ Kane in reviving the fortunes of Antrim hurling this year.
It’s gone somewhat under the radar, but the former All-Ireland SFC winning captain has been responsible for the side’s conditioning this season.
When the Mourne county won All-Ireland titles in 1991 and ’94, Kane and his teammates embarked on legendary long runs up to the Cloughmore Stone in Rostrevor.
Those grueling sessions not only prepared them for 70 minutes of championship action, but secured a bond between the players that would prove unbreakable. McNaughton believes that Antrim have tapped into a bit of that.
“We brought DJ Kane in to do the physical work at the start of the year. We went back to old-fashioned ways, basically running the shite out of them.
“There wasn’t much sports science in it. There was a pole at the top of the field and a pole at the bottom of the field and DJ would say ‘go around that there and come back to me, and you have 25 seconds to do it.’
“Niall Moyna, the DCU sports scientist, we went to him and said ‘this is what we’re doing, in your opinion are we doing anything wrong?’ We wanted the experts view and he told us that we had nailed it, to go for it.”
The full interview with Antrim joint-manager Terence McNaughton is available in store today or online here.