Joe Canning was stretchered off against Waterford. Tommy Dickson/INPHO
hurling's loss

'You wouldn't wish an injury on anyone, especially not a legend of the game like Joe'

Inter-county stars Seamus Callanan and Eoghan O’Donnell both had nice words for Galway’s talisman.

WITH JOE CANNING sidelined for the bulk of this summer’s hurling championship, two of his fellow inter-county stars have noted how much he’ll be missed.

Galway’s talisman must undergo surgery, missing up to four months with a groin injury sustained in the Tribe’s league semi-final clash with Waterford.

Tipperary captain Seamus Callanan and Dublin full-back Eoghan O’Donnell were both on media duty at the the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Announcement in Croke Park today, and paid tribute to the 30-year-old.

Two-time All-Ireland winner Callanan is no stranger to devastating injuries himself. A back problem ruled him out of the entire league campaign last year, and to this day he’s forced to manage it.

Of course, he must feel for Canning — a contemporary of his growing up, with both players breaking through at a similar age. 

“Definitely,” he nods. “Everyone wants to see Joe Canning playing hurling. We’re all playing the game but we’re all supporters of the game as well.

“You want to see the best players playing. It’s unfortunate for him but I’m sure he’ll be back stronger than ever.

“Look, every team is going to get setbacks and get knocks. There’s so many games in the championship now. Even in club games now coming up, you could lose a couple of players in club games. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s why panels have become so important.

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Announcement O'Donnell and Callanan at today's event. David Fitzgerald / SPORTSFILE David Fitzgerald / SPORTSFILE / SPORTSFILE

“You have to have your first 15 but you have to have the next 10, 15, 20 people really pushing hard. There’s so many games. Last year we had four games in four weeks so you need to be able to rotate your team as well.

“People have to step up to the plate. Anyone could get injured on any day. The team has to move on and everyone has to step up.”

23-year-old O’Donnell was of the same opinion. While it may change the championship and as Wexford’s Rory O’Connor said yesterday; have opponents ‘licking their lips,’ the Whitehall Colmcille defender weighed in on that point of view.

“You wouldn’t wish an injury on anyone, especially someone who’s a legend of the game like Joe,” he said.

“Galway will have to find another gear now and someone will step up. But Galway have a way of doing that year in, year out.

“They got to the All-Ireland final last year, they’ve been competitive for the last three or four years for more reasons than Joe so Galway will still be a team to be reckoned with.” 

Bord Gáis Energy has today announced the extension of its sponsorship of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship guaranteeing three more years of unmissable GAA rewards for its customers, including #HurlingToTheCore training camps. For more information, see:


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