Record-breaker Callanan eyes another smash-hit
By John Harrington
Tipperary captain Seamus Callanan can break another record against Kilkenny in Sundays All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final.
This year he has already surpassed Lar Corbett as Tipperarys greatest ever Championship goal-scorer and leapfrogged legends of the game like Henry Shefflin, Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard, and Eddie Keher to become the highest scorer from play in the history of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
Hes scored a goal in every Championship match hes played this year and if he scores another to bring his all-time tally to 35, then hell draw level with Keher on the all-time goal-scoring list.
He has already scored more goals from play than Keher, but the Kilkenny hot-shot was an extremely prolific goal-scorer from frees.
The dream for Tipperary fans would be that Callanan bangs in two goals on Sunday to leapfrog Keher entirely and go second on the all-time goalscorers list behind Rackard.
It would be the perfect way to end whats been an incredible season for the Tipperary skipper, but he hes not the least bit worried about personal glory going into Sundays match.
It would just be nice to get a goal, said Callanan. Its not about leaderboards or anything like that, its a goal for Tipperary.
If the goal chance doesnt arise, thats fine with me too.
Im not out there to break any records, Im just out there to contribute as best as I can for Tipperary, and thats it.
Samus Callanan of Tipperary scores his side's first goal during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin.
Of all the goals that Callanan has scored not just this summer but throughout his career, you could argue that his best yet came against Wexford in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final.
Running at full pelt onto a ball that was bouncing away from goal, he unleashed a beautifully timed first-time shot that sent the sliotar whistling past Wexford goalkeeper Mark Fannings ear.
The purity of the strike was something to behold and was another reminder that Callanan is one of the greatest forwards to ever play the game.
Ideally, I wouldnt have whipped on it really but it bounced up lovely, said Callanan.
If it went any further out to the side the goal chance maybe was gone.
It just bounced up sweet and I had to pull on it at that stage. Thank God the connection was good and it went in.
That was a bit of luck on the day too that it hopped up in my favour. You take them when you can get them.
I just kind of got my feet right underneath it. I thought it was going a little bit out right but the second bounce it actually just bounced up really nice. It was there to be pulled on and thankfully the connection was right.
Last year Callanan hit just 0-5 from play in four Championship matches for Tipperary but he was still clearly feeling the effects of the serious back surgery that had ruled him out of their entire League campaign.
Tipperary captain Samus Callanan with his manager Liam Sheedy before the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Final against Limerick at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
This year he had the benefit of a full pre-season and League campaign and came into the Championship in optimal physical condition.
Theres a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, trying to get your body right to be able to train, said Callanan.
Theres huge value in actually being able to train, never mind being able to play on a Sunday or whatever it is. Being able to train and get that workload into your body without any problems.
Thankfully I got a run of that this year. The pre-season really stands to you when it comes to this stage of the year.
Its great to get a good foundation in at the start of the year and that hopefully sets you up for a positive summer.
It doesnt always work out like that either. You need a bit of luck along the way to avoid injury.
You see the likes of Brendan Maher, he made a great comeback from a knee injury. He has come back better than ever.
Im sure Bonner Maher is going through that rehab at the moment and Im sure hell bounce back better than ever as well.