Canning return to Galway unlik...


Canning return to Galway unlikely as he takes up role with minors

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

03:52 10 Dec 2021

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A return to playing inter-county hurling looks unlikely for Joe Canning as he has taken up a coaching role with the Galway minors. 

The 2017 player of the year announced his retirement in the summer after 13 years with the county.

This followed a number of disappointing seasons for the Tribesmen where they could not reproduce the performances of 2017 when they won the Senior All-Ireland Championship.

Many speculated that Canning may be tempted to return to playing when it was recently announced that Henry Sheflin was to become the new manager.

This now seems unlikely though as Galway GAA has announced that Portumna native Canning has been added to Fergal Healy's backroom team for the upcoming season, alongside Mark Kerins, Eamon Cleary and Padraig Duddy.

This will come not just as a blow to people in Galway but also to hurling fans right across the country for to watch Canning live was a treat.

Speaking to OTB Sports at the time of Canning's retirement, former Kilkenny player Tommy Walsh tried to explain why he was so 'universally loved.'

"Skill. He was deceivingly fast.

"I always thought Joe Canning was powerful fast, but what I always come back to with Joe is skill. If he was growing up now, he would have missed one or two county finals, and perhaps a club All Ireland, because of the age.

"He won a county final or two before he reached 18, and a club All Ireland. Not many people get to do that, no matter what size you are. You only have to go back to his debut season in 2008, when he was marking 'The Rock' - was it about size with Joe?

"He was on Diarmuid O'Sullivan, I have him as number one in the hardest players to play the game. He scored 2-12 that day. That great Cork team were in their pomp."

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Galway Hurling Henry Sheflin Joe Canning Minors

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