Callanan knows the margins in a results-driven business
Tipperary captain says there were ‘no positives’ to being a spectator in 2018
Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan: “but any day you go out and don’t win one game out of four you can’t be expected to get through.” Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
For a county that had for the previous four years been either champions or separated by just a score from whoever else lifted the All-Ireland, 2018 for Tipperary was a kind of appalling vista, albeit in the rear-view mirror.
This year’s captain Séamus Callanan acknowledges that with the excitement of the new round-robin format and the blazing weather it was a great championship for the neutral, but far from that for Tipperary.
“Sure, look there’s no positives really about it: June 9th I think it was when we were gone last year. It has never really happened before as long as I’ve been there. We had such a fine summer in terms of weather, and it was very hard to be out of it that early, but it’s a results-driven business that we’re in.”
Completely unexpectedly Tipp crashed out at the first phase, two draws all they had to show for four matches. It appeared as if their world just spun out of control, and the margins were so tight at the end that had a late, late defeat by Clare in Thurles been reversed they would have survived.
“Yeah, I suppose the Clare game was out best performance,” says Callanan. “The other days we were kind of down by a lot and came back and got draws and that kind of thing, so it was disappointing in that regard. But any day you go out and don’t win one game out of four you can’t be expected to get through.”
The problems began on the first day when Tipperary lost to a Limerick side already beginning to bristle with the intent that would close a 45-year gap back to their previous All-Ireland. Had that effectively derailed Tipp at the outset?
“To be honest you don’t really have much time to reflect on it because you’re in the middle of four games in four weeks. When each game is over you have to just reset and go again, so you don’t get time to reflect too much on the games.
“You just have to build towards the next one, and find a performance again the next day.”
Nonetheless the return of 2010 All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy and a full league campaign under his belt has Callanan in optimistic mood.
“Last year I only had a couple of weeks going into Championship so to get the pre-season in was very good. I’m very happy with it.”