Colm Stapleton in action for Laois.
With the Laois senior hurlers beginning their 2019 season this Sunday away to Offaly, it is their first step towards redeeming themselves for a disappointing 2018.
They have been leaving no stone unturned in their preparations either, and Borris-Kilcotton hurler Colm Stapleton has been outlining his goals for the season ahead. "I've been working in the gym. I've found over the last few years that I was a bit small for it.
"So I've been doing a lot myself and with the group here also. Now with the weather not great, you might as well get the fitness up and get the running in.
"So you try to improve every aspect of your game. Your diet is important. Getting down the body fat percentage at this time of the year is vital to make sure you are in good nick coming into the league campaign.
"If you don't do things off the pitch - like the pitch sessions and have a proper diet - you are going to have no chance against the teams we will be playing in Division 1B.
"So personally, and I presume for every other player on the panel, putting in the hard graft off the field as much as on it is just as important."
There have been multiple stories over the last few months about the time and effort involved for intercounty players. With training and preparation now more or less at professional standards, Stapleton outlined the commitment required in the modern game. "It is pretty much everyday. If it is not a session, you might be just at home doing a bit of stretching or foam rolling to get every percent extra that you need to get yourself to be the best you can be.
"It is almost full time but I don't mind that at all. It is great to have goals to improve yourself as much as possible because other lads will be doing small bits that you don't know about and you need to be upping your game as much as they are."