Friday 21 July 2017

'World of nonsense' around Tipperary panel won't affect our focus, insists Callanan

Mayo’s Lee Keegan and Tipperary Seamus Callanan at The Kelloggs Gaa Cul Camps Breakfast Cook-Off at l’Ecrivain, Dublin. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Mayo’s Lee Keegan and Tipperary Seamus Callanan at The Kelloggs Gaa Cul Camps Breakfast Cook-Off at l’Ecrivain, Dublin. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

There's still well over a week before Tipperary will know who they are playing next, plenty of time to kill before they can get back on the horse.

Only on Monday week will they know who'll they face as they look to get the defence of the Liam MacCarthy Cup back on track.

Westmeath, Dublin and Kilkenny are all possibilities along with the losers of this weekend's game between Galway and Offaly.

Tipp will be fighting to stay in the Championship on the weekend of Saturday, July 1, much earlier than panned.

However, All-Star forward Seamus Callanan is trying to see the bright side.

"Isn't it great?" he asked at the launch of the Kellogg's GAA Cul Camps. "Hurling is in a very strong position at the moment and anyone can beat anyone on a given day."

Tipp have spent much of their time since their defeat to Cork licking their wounds and dealing with the fallout.

Having made his debut back in 2008, Callanan is in his tenth season with the Premier seniors and he's still surprised by some of the reaction when Tipp lose a game.

"I don't know why that is (that there is such a strong reaction)," he said.

"There is maybe an expectancy that we'll win every game and when we don't there is a backlash.

"We set sights for ourselves that we'd win every day you go out. Ultimately you have to give Cork credit, they are a fabulous team. And Galway, they are flying this year, so our two defeats were against teams that really performed and there is no shame in that either.

"Look, there is big expectancy… we're doing our best, you know?"

Part of the reaction was a spate of rumours doing the rounds concerning the Tipp players' personal lives.

"There's the world of nonsense going around, but I presume it goes around a lot of other panels too," said Callanan. "What can we do? We have no control over what people want to say about us… absolutely unfounded rumours, and we have no control over that.

"We just have to control the controllables going forward and concentrate on performance. Look, it's terrible that these rumours go around but we are powerless.

"We are concentrating now on moving forward from it. We have a strong panel, a very close-knit panel . It's disappointing the way people have spread these unfounded rumours.

"But we have to move on from that and concentrate on our jobs."

Callanan revealed that the squad made no efforts to find the original source of the rumours.

"This is the age of social media, unfortunately. What can you do about it really? You have to drive on as a group and the only way we can answer anyone is on the hurling field."

The Drom and Inch man insists he is fully fit despite missing a few weeks in the build-up to the Cork game with a hand injury.

"I came back just the week of (the Cork game). I missed a few weeks in the lead-up but I trained for the full week before the game. Look, it wasn't ideal preparation but it was fine on the day," he said.

"It's all good (now), it's perfect."

And while the history books show that Tipperary bounced back from defeat to the Rebels in 2010 to win the All-Ireland and halt Kilkenny's 'Drive for Five', Callanan warns that the past is worth nothing to them this year.

"You have to play these games in the now. You can't just refer to 2010 and think it's going to be the same way because every day is different and we were a different panel in 2010 and every other team is different as well," he said.

"It's completely different. The only comparison you can make is you lost the first round and went into the qualifiers.

"We're training hard at the moment for whoever we do get in the draw and it will be nice to have a focus next Monday."

Irish Independent

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