Cuala’s Seán Moran expecting team-mate Con O’Callaghan back for championship
‘He’s had an exceptional few years ... I’m sure we’ll see him back before the year is out’
Cuala and Dublin senior hurler Sean Moran: ‘We’re always building to where we want to get to.’ File photograph: Sportsfile
O’Callaghan received a heavy knock to the leg shortly after scoring the opening goal as Cuala won a fourth Dublin hurling title in five years, beating St Brigid’s on Sunday, in what was the first score of the game. He eventually limped off, the full extent of his injury unclear.
“I just think it was a mistimed tackle,” said Moran, the Cuala defender speaking at an event to mark 29th season of AIB’s sponsorship of the All-Ireland club championships.
“Luckily there’s no huge injury to Con. It was lucky enough in that respect. But yeah, it was just ‘next man up’ after that happened. We didn’t want to lose focus of what we had set out to do. Con will be back. He’s an incredible athlete. He’ll be back soon.
“He’s a good man to give a ball inside to. He’s an exceptional hurler and footballer. He’s had an exceptional few years. He’s an incredible lad. I’m sure we’ll see him back before the year is out.”
Having only recently returned to hurling after helping Dublin land that record fifth successive All-Ireland football title, O’Callaghan showed no signs of staleness with the smaller ball and hurley – again, no surprise to Moran.
“No, not at all. Whatever Con tries . . . he’s an exceptional athlete all round. He’s just one of those people who has it in whatever he does. And I’m just lucky that he plays on my team.
“He’s put in hard work over the winter months. And it’s paying dividends for him now.” Naturally that will happen for players, with all the focus on strength and conditioning and training 12 months of the year really.
Still some pity he’s not involved with the Dublin senior team?
“Like I said earlier, Con is exceptional with the talent that he has. He’s had great success with the Dublin football team and what they’ve achieved is phenomenal. You can’t begrudge him any of that.”
Moran’s own season with the Dublin senior hurlers didn’t go plan, exiting at the hands on Laois, but ambitions remain high under manager Mattie Kenny. “Yeah, you kind of have to reset your focus as soon as you can. We as a team have come on a lot. We’re always building to where we want to get to. It was an up-and-down year. We had some great performances but it’s about trying to get it consistent across every match.”