Eddie O’Brien of Waterford Crystal Swimming Club could be forgiven for casting a wry eye at the agog reaction to the Dublin footballers’ twice-weekly early-morning training sessions after Christmas.

Such sacrifices are “nothing new to us,” says Eddie, the club’s assistant PRO. Indeed, on the same day the Jacks were gathering in Clontarf at the unGodly hour of 6.30am, the Crystal swimmers were already in the water for 30 minutes, just as they’ve been doing six days a week in preparation for this year’s galas.