Saturday 24 September 2016

Canning still insists Galway can dine at top table

John Fallon

Published 26/04/2016 | 02:30

Joe Canning will be opening the Camile Thai restaurant in Limerick in June Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Joe Canning will be opening the Camile Thai restaurant in Limerick in June Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Joe Canning believes that Galway are more than capable of putting their manager upheaval and relegation behind them and having another major assault at claiming the All-Ireland title for the first time since 1988.

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He said that the change of management over the winter meant they were later than other counties preparing for 2016 but he is determined to look forward rather than back at the controversy which surrounded Anthony Cunningham's removal as manager following the All-Ireland final defeat to Kilkenny.

"We are just concentrating now on what we can do in the future. Training has been going well, we started a lot later than most other counties and we are probably two to three months behind other counties back training.

"It was disappointing to finish with four points and then be relegated for next season but we can't worry about it now, that's for next season. We weren't too far off last year. We were a couple of points up at half-time and I suppose our game management in the second half was not good enough. It was just frustrating on that point of view that we were so close and just didn't get over the finish line," said the Portumna clubman.

Canning, who believes that Clare will on Sunday follow the example of their opponents Waterford and claim the league title coming from Division 1B, said that one of their primary targets is to become more consistent.

Lucky

"Last year Dublin should probably have beaten us in the first match in Croke Park. We didn't perform in the Leinster final, the game against Tipperary could have gone either way, it was that nip and tuck and other years we just didn't have the luck I suppose to get over the line. We just got it against Tipperary in the semi-final.

"So we were lucky in a way last year as well, getting to the All-Ireland the way we did. It is all so tight, there are such fine margins at this level now that when you win people tend to forget the things you did bad.

"We have a young enough team. I'm one of the oldest on it now at 27 so a lot of the guys are very young, 22 or 23 years of age, they have got good experience over the last number of years so hopefully this year will be good for them as well."

Championship is all that is on Canning's mind at the moment and he has embarked on a career change to facilitate his hurling.

He stepped down from his role as sponsorship and PR manager with Liberty Insurance and is opening the first Camile Thai restaurant outside Dublin, with the business set to open in Limerick in early June.

Camile was launched in Dublin in 2010 by Brody Sweeney, the founder of the O'Brien's Sandwich Bar chain, and Canning, along with two business partners, will operate the company's 11th restaurant in the Parkway Retail Park in Limerick.

"I was based in Dublin for two years with Liberty and was travelling up and down all the time for training, two or three times a week and then at the weekend. It was the travelling more so than anything that prompted me make the change.

"I enjoyed my job no end and Liberty were very good to me but just the travelling up and down took its toll. It was a case of sitting in a car for two hours to travel down, then two hours training, and then two hours again the car going back to Dublin. It was a case of picking up niggly little injuries, maybe from sitting down so much I suppose, especially having an office job as well.

"It was always a dream to get into the hospitality and restaurant business so when the opportunity came up with Camile Thai it was a thing that I just jumped at.

"It's not just an investment, I will be working there but it won't be full-time as I have other things as well but I will be there a good bit of the time during the week, during the daytime more so than anything as I will be training in the evening with Galway as we are getting into the summer.

"But it's like anything, when I get into something I want to get stuck in and make it a success," said Canning, who spent five years in Limerick IT where he graduated with a degree in business and marketing.

Irish Independent

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