Séamus Callanan supports new recruits to “push the standard forward” in Tipp.


Perhaps the dirtiest word in the English language, at least among hurling aristocrats, is ‘transition’.

Sure, it’s hard to make everyone happy, isn’t it?” smiles Séamus Callanan, well aware through a decade and a half of frontline experience that in Tipperary, as in other areas of the hurling heartland, expectation and logic don’t always go hand in hand are compatible.

“Look, I think there was probably credibility that some new blood was brought into the Tipperary lineup,” he adds.

“It’s there now, so … you know, nobody’s happy if we don’t win and that’s the same in every county.”

Now in his 15th year at Tipp, at a time when turnover rates are higher than ever and careers between counties are becoming ever shorter, Callanan is also one of only three surviving members of the 2010 All-Ireland winning squad, alongside Patrick. Bonner ‘Maher and Noel McGrath.

Since the end of last season, Brendan Maher and Pádraic Maher have disappeared, albeit in very different circumstances, players with whom Callanan has shared some of the great modern successes in Tips history.

He didn’t feel like following them to sunset just yet.

And it’s a sign of his standing in the county that, despite all the calls for a refresher on the panel, Callanan’s presence was rarely, if ever, discussed.

“I just feel like while my body is in good shape,” he says, “and while I still love being in it … ultimately it’s down to management as well, but at the moment – apart from my injured thumb – it’s on my body feels great, my mind feels good to be in there so let’s see how long it lasts or whatever happens.

“Yeah, my body feels good at the moment and I’m still enjoying being there, so why not.”

That thumb injury, picked up in the days after his first league start against Dublin, will see Callanan ruled out for at least two of Munster’s SHC campaign next month.

It’s a major blow for Colm Bonnar as he approaches the task of officiating his first league game as Tipp’s manager against a side managed by someone he considered a prime candidate for the job.

Tipp is also on form and faces the most difficult start – an away date against Waterford at Walsh Park on April 17 before hosting Clare at Thurles on April 24.

They then have a two week break before playing in Limerick in Limerick.

Given the level of difficulty, Tipp could use Callanan – the man who has become their all-time all-time leading scorer – sooner rather than later.

“I think the lads did really well,” he says of Tipp’s strength in his absence.

“To be honest, most of the young lads who have started most of the games have actually gained enough experience over the past few years.

“I think that… look, I think there were a lot of very positive performances.”

Callanan is checking names of Mark Kehoe and Jake Morris, and not without reason.

Kehoe recorded a 2-3 draw against Antrim in Tipp’s last league game last weekend (as did John McGrath).

Morris didn’t play in that game, a one-gait 30-point win, but he put up a consistent performance in Bonnar’s top flight, scoring in each of the previous four games.

“These types of guys across the league are going to be the future of Tipperary Hurling,” Callanan insists.

“Now is the time for them to push the standard of what they are. You are great guys. They have a great attitude and a great willingness to train hard.

“I don’t know if you would call it transition or whatever, but Colm will pick his top 15 that he thinks will give him the best chance of winning the first round of the championship and whoever he decides is on the pitch that day, he believes he will best represent Tipp that day.

“With games coming in dense and fast, you’ll probably need to build a big panel as well. So each one will be hugely important for the year.

“Everyone else trains pretty hard; Someone gets an injection and there was no guarantee I would start,” claims Callanan.

“I’ll be working as hard as I can behind the scenes and I’m more than confident that the guys who will represent Tipperary on the 17th will do the job.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/seamus-callanan-backs-new-recruits-to-drive-the-standard-in-tipp-41477286.html Séamus Callanan supports new recruits to “push the standard forward” in Tipp.

Fry Electronics Team

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