| 12.2°C Dublin

Surfing helps make up for missing final

IN Wednesday's All-Ireland final countdown, we gave details of Anthony Cunningham's admirable and successful attempts to locate employment or assist with the education of a player currently in the Galway hurling set-up.

Indeed, goalkeeper James Skehill admitted he would, were it not for a well-timed job opportunity with a building contractor, have joined the diaspora in the US or Australia by now.

There is always the one that got away, though, and for Galway it is Liam Mellows' man, Aonghus Callanan (pictured), a member of that awesome U21 All-Ireland-winning team of 2005 when they hammered Dublin in the final.

Callanan, now 27, is, according to The Connacht Tribune, "having the time of his life, surfing, socialising, earning good money as a quantity surveyor, and playing football and hurling during a year out in Sydney which has exceeded his expectations.

"While the news from home is regularly full of doom and gloom, he looks forward to sunny Saturdays spent surfing on Bondi Beach or joining a host of young Irish revellers on a cruise around Sydney Harbour. Even in the middle of winter, the weather is better than back home.

"The Liam Mellows attacker decided to take a year out Down Under last November, despite approaches by Anthony Cunningham and his selectors, Mattie Kenny and Tom Helebert."

We're not saying he won't regret the chance to play in an All-Ireland final for his county, but if there is a place almost as enjoyable to watch Galway win Liam MacCarthy, surfing, socialising and earning good money in Sydney is probably it."