Tuesday 21 November 2017

'We didn't go off the rails after 2010 win' - Callanan

Tipperary's Seamus Callanan. Photo: Sportsfile
Tipperary's Seamus Callanan. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Claiming back-to-back All-Ireland SHC titles isn't a Premier hallmark, but Seamus Callanan has poured cold water on suggestions that Tipperary went off the rails after their 2010 All-Ireland triumph.

Tipp sit alone at hurling's top table following last September's comprehensive final defeat of Kilkenny, and subsequent league displays this season, but question marks hang over whether they can win successive titles after failing to build on previous success with a youthful squad.

There was a perception that Tipp lost the run of themselves in the immediate aftermath, enjoying the good life as they slipped off the radar in 2012 and 2013 as they failed to land a blow in the All-Ireland race, but Callanan feels critics are off the mark ahead of this year's defence.

"Ah sure, every media interview, it is a question that is asked so it is obviously a perception amongst the media but personally, as someone that was involved in the panel, I fully disagree with that. Look we lost to Kilkenny," he said at the Kellogg's GAA Cúl Camps launch.

"There is no shame in losing to that Kilkenny team over those years, they are a very, very hard team to beat. That happened and it wasn't down to preparation or anything like that, we have a massively committed bunch and anything else you hear outside of that is untrue."

Motivation

The Drom-Inch ace doesn't plan on using such rumours as motivation, however, with all eyes focused on Wexford and renewing acquaintances with Davy Fitzgerald, whom he worked with for four years in LIT.

"I know what Davy is going to bring to the party, a lot of honesty, a lot of hard work, a determined, fit team. He brings a massive professionalism. He makes sure he has every avenue covered. He is a fantastic trainer and a motivator, and he is making great strides and the lads are responding. This is a massive challenge for us," he said.

Only Callanan and Darren Gleeson have league medals from 2008 but winning honours this spring is huge motivation for the current crop while after feeling Kilkenny's wrath first-hand over the past decade, he won't be writing them off come summer.

"They're firmly the team to beat still in our eyes so if anyone had any doubts about that before they came to Thurles to play us, that really should extinguished any doubts. Kilkenny are a fantastic team," he said.

"If you think for one second that they're gone anywhere, you're just going to get sucker-punched. We know the character of their players and they still have a massive team and a fantastic panel, and they still have Brian Cody at the helm, they're going to be dangerous animals."

Irish Independent

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