GAA Match Day Physiotherapy. From pre-match preparation to post-game recovery, learn how expert physio support can make a difference.

During the inter-county season, I often get asked about what happens on match day. While we can’t share specifics of individual injuries and rehabilitation, in this article we aim to give insight into what happens on match day, from a Physiotherapy perspective.

Pre-Match Preparation

Players: In reality, there should be no injuries to be dealt with prior to the game on match day. Players who have gone through a rehabilitation process are either passed fit to play or not. This decision is made during the week, in consultation with the broader Sports Science and Medical team and with management and coaches.
Kit prep: I like to have this done the night before. I make sure that I have all my correct match day team gear ready to wear. Then I make sure that my Physio bag is stocked, with equipment to cover as many eventualities as possible.

Arrival at the ground

For home games, I like to make sure I am at the ground at least 30 minutes before any player is due to arrive. This gives me time to set up the Physio area, make sure all equipment is working and to check in with the other members of the backroom team –management, coaches, Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition, Doctors, Masseuse, Kit man and Performance analysis.

GAA Match Day Physiotherapy

Player Arrival

Once players arrive, that is when we get a bit busier. Any last minute assessments are carried out (although as mentioned in paragraph 1, this should be almost non-existent). Any soft tissue work is done, strapping and individual player prep before the team goes onto the pitch for warm up. Warm-up is typically led by Strength and Conditioning and coaches. Once on the pitch it is time for a radio check to make sure we are all able to communicate during the game, be available for any last-minute player requests, check in with the opposing Physio and medical team and take our places in the dugout for the game.


During the match, Physio and Medical Team share roles. We are constantly watching to make sure players get up from a challenge or stay down, was there a potential concussion incident, blood injuries or off the ball incidents. If a player goes down injured, the aim is to get to the player as quickly as possible, assess the injury as safely, accurately and quickly as possible, decide on whether the player can play on or should come off and communicate this to the player and management ASAP to allow for clear decision-making regarding substitutions.

Half Time

At half time we have a little more time to assess any knocks compared to on-pitch. We check in with all players and anyone with an issue is assessed and a decision made as to whether that player can carry on or needs to be substituted.

Post Match

This is an important time. Any player who has been injured during the match will be assessed and an injury management plan for the next 24 to 48 hours put in place for the player. All injured players will be re-assessed in 24 to 48 hours. Players start their recovery directly post-match. Nutrition is key here. All players have a post-match injury prevention protocol to complete prior to leaving the ground which is completed in collaboration with Physio and S and C staff.

PMC Physio Recommendation

At PMC Physiotherapy Dunboyne, we’re proud to be involved with the Meath GAA senior football panel, led by our principal physio, Paul Conneely. If you are a GAA player facing any injury concerns, our expert physiotherapists are here to support your journey back to full health and performance. Beginning with an in-depth assessment of your injury, we provide a precise diagnosis, evaluate the extent of the injury, and estimate your recovery timeline. We then work with you to set up a comprehensive treatment plan to get you back playing as quickly and as safely as possible. We also offer a comprehensive service for injury assessment and insurance form completion for players and club compliance, streamlining the paperwork and allowing you to focus on your recovery. If you have any pain or a niggling injury contact us today for a professional evaluation.


PMC Physiotherapy Clinic, Unit 36, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath

Call Us

01 8253 997

Email Us