You are here

Physiological Profile and Activity Pattern of Minor Gaelic Football Players


Bryan Cullen, Mark Roantree, Andrew McCarren, David Kelly, Paul O’Connor, Sarah Hughes, Pat Daly, Niall Moyna

Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physiological profile and activity pattern in club and county level under 18 (U-18) Gaelic football players relative to playing position. Participants (n = 85) were analysed over 17 official 15-a-side matches using global positioning system (GPS) technology (SPI Pro X II, GPSports Systems Pty) 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 (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max) and peak HR (HRmax). Players covered a mean distance of 5,774 +/- 737m over a full 60 min match. The mean %HRmax and %V[Combining Dot Above]O2max observed during match play was 81.6 +/- 4.3% and 70.1 +/- 7.75%, respectively. Playing level had no effect on 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 the forward position. Time had a significant effect (F(1,39)=33.512, p-value =0.000 and [eta]p2 = 0.462) on distance covered and %HRmax, both of which showed a reduction between playing periods. Gaelic football is predominantly characterised 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.
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
Publication Status: 
Date Accepted for Publication: 
Tuesday, 6 September, 2016
Publication Date: 
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research
Dublin City University (DCU)
Open access repository: