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Dublin: 1°C Friday 23 April 2021

'It's very demanding,' but Tipperary captain happy to follow busy schedule

While it actually suited Seamus Callanan last year, he says the Premier county have learned going forward.

Tipperary captain Seamus Callanan.
Tipperary captain Seamus Callanan.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

WITH CLUB-ONLY MONTH entering full swing once again, the divide in opinion is evident more than ever.

The GAA’s policy of designating April as a month solely for club action has had no shortage of mixed opinion thrown at it with Tipperary hurling manager Liam Sheedy recently ‘calling it straight’ that ’22 of the 32 counties absolutely ignored (the club month)’ in 2018.

Wexford’s Lee Chin told The42 this week that he supports the idea but he can understand the frustrations that managers hold towards it, while Dublin defender Eoghan O’Donnell revealed that he is a big fan of the ‘change of pace’.

At the same Bord Gáis Energy GAA Announcement in Croke Park yesterday, it was interesting to hear Premier captain Seamus Callanan’s thoughts.

Many believe that the hectic run of games hurt Tipperary last year. Michael Ryan was perhaps hampered for their Munster championship campaign by the busy club schedule that players underwent in April 2018.

“I don’t think Mick or the team stood a chance last year,” Sheedy said. “There’s no way they could have managed to play three weeks of club matches in-a-row and look to roll on and rock into four weeks in-a-row of championship. That was an impossible situation for all involved.”

While two-time All-Ireland winner Callanan believes that there have been learnings from last year, he feels that he actually benefited from the hectic schedule as he returned from injury.

Liam Sheedy Tipp manager Liam Sheedy watches on. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

A back problem saw him miss the entire National Hurling League campaign, so the serious amounts of minutes on the pitch helped him.

“Last year now having the club games probably suited myself because I was only back from injury,” he said.

“I needed them whereas some lads were playing three club games after coming off a long league campaign as well. Maybe they didn’t need them as much as I did. I suppose on my own experience, having them club games was welcomed.

“Look, I can see how it is. It’s very demanding for players to play a full league — we got to the final last year so we had the extra games, then the club games and you’re straight into championship. It is hard like.

“Last year as well, we had four games in-a-row in Munster championship so at least it’s spread out a bit more this year so it gives a better chance.”

Physically, he’s in peak condition at the minute and credits the team’s strength and conditioning coach and physios for that, but he does have to keep on top of it himself.

It’s the type of thing if I neglected it for two weeks, I’d feel pain coming back again,” he added. “You literally have to keep at it the whole time and keep on top of it.”

And all in all, the Drom-Inch man is feeling much more positive about where he, and his side, are at at the minute compared to this time last year.

“Absolutely, yeah. A full pre-season done, league campaign in and lots of matches there. Definitely feeling positive about the injury and have that put to the back of my mind now. That’s behind me now, I can move on.

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Announcement At yesterday's launch in Croke Park. Source: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

“The big thing now is to be able to perform. To be able to train every night is a huge thing. Some people maybe don’t value the fact of actually being able to train.

“You be worrying about your performance but to actually be able to take the pitch and not be injured, it’s brilliant — and obviously apply yourself the best way possible and put your best foot forward after that.”

He’ll hope they can do just that in the Munster championship.

The 30-year-old refers back to the fact that the 2016 All-Ireland champions crashed out prematurely last year, and the disappointment associated with that, but it will only drive them on.

All focus will soon be on Páirc Uí Chaoimh on 12 May, with the excitement shining through — with zero concerns around the surface of the pitch — as Tipp hope to get off to a positive start against Cork.

“We’re all building towards playing Championship hurling,” he concluded. “You know, we were knocked out last year on the 9 June so since then we’ve been waiting for an opportunity to go back and play Munster Championship again and try to put it right.”


Bord Gáis Energy yesterday 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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Emma Duffy

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