Thursday 18 January 2018

'Oh my God, this kid is going to torture us' - Joe Brolly explains how Peter Canavan's son is like a 'mini Peter'

Peter Canavan and Darragh Canavan.
Peter Canavan and Darragh Canavan.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sporting fathers and sons were one of the many topics of discussion on this week's episode of The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast.

Sunday Independent columnist Joe Brolly joined Will Slattery on the phone to chat about the weekend's football action, but the conversation turned to his son Ruairi, who starred for Antrim minors off the bench as they pipped Donegal in an extra time thriller before the senior sides played in the Ulster championship.

Read more: Why would you want to bring your kid to watch Dublin beat Carlow by 20 points?

Brolly beamed with pride as he recounted his son's performance and the post-game pitch invasion that ensued.

"I'm still absolutely buzzing about that," he said.

"My heart was sinking in ordinary time because Antrim were the better team in ordinary time but hadn't won it. Then Donegal got a three point lead in extra time and Donegal were starting to do their chest-out thing and Antrim were going to come close like they did last year but lose it.

"To see them digging in... my fella is only 16. He was only brought in to the minor's last weekend because he had been performing very strongly for the under-17s. He scored eight points against Cavan in the Ulster semi-final and he's technically very good, he's left-footed and right-footed, he's strong and he's got ice in his veins.

"They only brought him in in extra-time, You try to be unbiased, you try to be objective but to see your kid, for me it was unbelievably emotional, relaxed and nailing difficult points boom, boom at the crucial time.

"You think to yourself, 'Things are going to go well for this kid in his life' because he's not going to have any lack of courage.

"For me, how you play on the field is how you live off the field. It augurs very well that he stood up for the team like that and he's always been a team player.

"Whether he goes on to win an All-Ireland with Antrim or not, the important thing is, he loves his football."

Brolly also discussed a recent Tyrone minor match he watched that featured Darragh Canavan, the son of double All-Ireland winner Peter. Brolly was extremely impressed with the younger Canavan's performance as well as the striking similarities between him and his dad.

"Tyrone were playing against Down and Peter Canavan's boy, Darragh Canavan, was playing centre half forward," Brolly said.

"He dominated the game for Tyrone. Well, it is amazing to me how these things go down through the genes. He is just like a mini Peter. I was just sitting there with my mouth open thinking 'Oh my God, this kid is going to torture [us]'. This kid - left foot, right foot, his passing, his moving, his head was up all the time. Just like his dad. If you didn't know the younger Canavan was playing on the pitch, you would have said 'oh my God, that looks like Peter Canavan reincarnated'. Obviously I have high hopes for our lad but this Canavan kid is special."

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Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly Championship podcast, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every Monday, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé, Brendan Cummins and John Mullane.

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