Physiological Profile and Activity Pattern of Minor Gaelic Football Players

Bryan D. Cullen, Mark T. Roantree, Andrew L. McCarren, David T. Kelly, Paul L. O'Connor, Sarah M. Hughes, Pat G. Daly, Niall M. Moyna

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14 Scopus citations


Cullen, BD, Roantree, M, McCarren, A, Kelly, DT, O'Connor, PL, Hughes, SM, Daly, PG, and Moyna1, NM. Physiological profile and activity pattern of minor Gaelic football players. J Strength Cond Res 31(7): 1811-1820, 2017-The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiological profile and activity pattern in club- A nd county-level under-18 (U-18) Gaelic football players relative to playing position. Participants (n = 85) were analyzed during 17 official 15-a-side matches using global positioning system technology (SPI Pro X II; GPSports Systems, Canberra, Australia) and heart rate (HR) telemetry. During the second part of this study, 63 participants underwent an incremental treadmill test to assess their maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max) and peak HR (HRmax). Players covered a mean distance of 5,774 ± 737 m during a full 60-minute match. The mean %HRmax and %Vo2max observed during the match play were 81.6 ± 4.3% and 70.1 ± 7.75%, respectively. The playing level had no effect on the distance covered, player movement patterns, or %HRmax observed during match play. Midfield players covered significantly greater distance than defenders (p = 0.033). Playing position had no effect on %HRmax or the frequency of sprinting or high-intensity running during match play. The frequency of jogging, cruise running, striding (p = 0.000), and walking (p = 0.003) was greater in the midfield position than in the forward position. Time had a significant effect (F(1,39) = 33.512, p-value = 0.000, and = 0.462) on distance covered and %HRmax, both of which showed a reduction between playing periods. Gaelic football is predominantly characterized by low-to-moderate intensity activity interspersed with periods of high-intensity running. The information provided may be used as a framework for coaches in the design and prescription of training strategies. Positional specific training may be warranted given the comparatively greater demands observed in the midfield playing position. Replicating the demands of match play in training may reduce the decline in distance covered and %HRmax observed during the second half of match play.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1811-1820
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • GPS technology
  • Gaelic games
  • heart rate
  • team sports


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