Galway's All-Ireland winning goalkeeper calls time on 13-year inter-county career

Colm Callanan announced the news with a brilliant statement – and confirmed that he has accepted a coaching role in the set-up.

ALL-IRELAND WINNING Galway goalkeeper Colm Callanan has called time on his 13-year inter-county hurling career. 

colm-callanan-celebrates Colm Callanan celebrating the 2017 All-Ireland win. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Callanan announced the news with a brilliant statement, shared on the Galway GAA website this morning. Within, he also confirmed that he has accepted a coaching role in Shane O’Neill’s backroom team as the All-Ireland winning Na Piarsaigh boss takes the reins going into 2020.

Having made his senior debut for the Tribesmen in 2007 after winning a minor Celtic Cross in 2000, 37-year-old Callanan has been a permanent fixture between the posts for the Westerners and a central part of the side in recent years.

The top-class shot-stopper landed an All-Star in 2015 and, of course, was a pillar of their Liam McCarthy lift in 2017 under Michéal Donoghue. He also bows out with two Leinster medals and two league honours.

Callanan’s lengthy — but heartwarming — statement reads, in full:

“After 13 years wearing the maroon and white jersey, and after careful consideration, I have made the decision to step away from the Galway senior hurling panel,” the Kinvara man begins.

“It’s a massive privilege to play for your county and I feel honoured and proud that I got to play for Galway for as long as I did. I was lucky enough to win everything on offer at least once.

“I was blessed to have shared a dressing room with such brilliant people throughout my career, which enabled me to forge friendships that will last a lifetime. It was an honour to go into battle with all of those Galway players, while it was also a privilege to get the opportunity to play against the very best players from other counties.

“I was also lucky to have enjoyed the support of excellent managers, coaches and backroom team members over the years. Special mention must go to the managers I played under – Ger Loughnane, John McIntyre, Anthony Cunningham and Micheal Donoghue.

“I’d particularly like to extend huge thanks to Christy O’Connor for being my goalkeeping coach all the way back to before I started with Galway in 2007. Christy opened my mind as to what was required at the top level, and he really lifted my standards.

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“I’m indebted to my club Kinvara for all their support and loyalty over the years. I want to pay tribute to all the coaches that helped me improve my game, which enabled me progress and go on and play for Galway.

“I’d also like to thank the various county board members which looked after us over the years.”

He continued: ”Most of all though, I’d like to thank my family. My wife Jen has always provided the amazing support which allowed me to chase my dream for so long. Her patience and understanding facilitated the longevity of my career, especially with our two young kids at home, Ciara and Daniel. I hope I made ye all proud.

“I’d also like to pay a special thanks to my parents, Mary and Gerry and my sisters, Colleen and Roisin. It was the best feeling ever to share some of those golden moments with them after matches.

colm-callanan-signs-autographs-at-the-end-of-the-game Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

“I’m content that I gave everything I had to the Galway jersey for 13 years. I’ve loved every minute of my journey and to have played in front of its dedicated and passionate supporters has allowed me to make memories that I will cherish forever.

“I’d also like to thank Shane O’Neill for his understanding and support of my decision. I’m also delighted that the transition will be made easier after accepting a coaching role in Shane’s new backroom team.

“Let the next chapter begin! Up Galway!”

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Emma Duffy

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