Canning calls time on Galway career
Published 27/07/2010 | 05:00
Ollie Canning has admitted he has probably played his last game of hurling for Galway.
Arguably the game's best corner-back of the last decade, Canning confirmed he addressed the players in the Galway dressing-room after Sunday's defeat to Tipperary in the All-Ireland quarter-final because he felt it would be the last opportunity he would have to do so.
"I just wanted to get the guys together," he said. "I might not sit in the dressing-room with them again. I've built up great friendships. It was an emotional time, there are great guys and great people in there. It was a funny enough situation. I wanted to say it to the lads first."
Canning has been hurling for Galway since 1996, first as a half-forward and then since 2001 as a defender where he won three All Stars in '01, '03 and '05.
He never won an All-Ireland medal but did win three All-Ireland club medals with Portumna, with whom he will continue to play.
Canning (34) had suggested that this would be his last year with Galway, having come out of retirement two years earlier when a dispute with the Hurling Board in the county over the 2006 county final abated.
"In all probability that was my last game with Galway. I had said that at the start of the year. I doubt if I will be back," he confirmed.
Known for his wonderful reading of the game and consummate bravery, Canning has won the respect of everyone in the game during a career that has spanned 13 seasons.
Meanwhile, there are nine names nominated for the position of Limerick hurling manager, including that of outgoing boss Justin McCarthy.
McCarthy's decision to allow his name to go forward means that he is interested in taking the role again.
The former Cork manager John Allen is also nominated but may not be interested, while other locals in the frame include Patrickswell pair Ciaran Carey and Gary Kirby and former manager Dave Keane.
A three-man committee including former player and selector Damien Quigley, Dairygold CEO Jim Woulfe and Paudie Fitzmaurice will begin interviewing interested candidates in the coming weeks. They have the option of going outside those nominated.
Tony Griffin has refused to rule out the possibility of a return to the Clare hurlers next year. The 29-year-old announced his retirement from the inter-county scene at the beginning of the season to concentrate on his business pursuits.
The former All Star forward has been playing well for his club Ballyea and might be open to a Banner comeback if manager Ger O'Loughlin wants him, citing Sunday's thrilling All-Ireland quarter-final between Tipperary and Galway as having whetted his appetite.
"When you watch a game like that you want to get togged off and go out and start all over again," said Griffin. "The game every year is going to a new level. I'm 30 next year but who knows?"