Callanan still pushing hard after 11 years

Galway goalkeeper Colm Callanan made his senior debut 11 years ago in 2007 under Ger Loughnane's tenure, and the 34-year-old from Kinvara has seen massive changes in that time.

The time commitment for players has increased significantly and the standards set by management just keep rising year on year.

"Yeah, to be honest since I started, year on year you are looking at it and saying 'Jesus how can this get any better'? Then you come in and it is better and something changes. Ger [Loughnane] brought me in back in 2007. It seems like a lifetime ago at this stage.

"I am just glad to be still here and still involved and playing in the big games.

"Has it evolved? Definitely it has, and it has become very time consuming, depending on the week and what’s coming up.

"If it wasn’t a championship week, you are probably hitting four evenings with little bits yourself. That’s not a bad thing, it’s good to have something. A day off just probably means I would go down to the sea in Kinvara, or to the gym, or 15 or 20 minutes on the bike, or something like that. But it’s part and parcel of it. You know what you are signing up for when you get into this. It’s great to be a part of it. While you are there, it’s great."

The 2015 All-Star runs his own business which is a big help in allowing him flexibility to keep hurling at the highest standard.

"Because I am self-employed it allows me to manage my own time, which is a big plus for me to keep everything moving forward. We have a gym in Kinvara, Callanan Fit Club, and I have an academy in Galway, Peak Fitness Performance Academy, where we certify people who want to be personal trainers as well.

"Even with that flexibility, there is no way I could manage without a lot of family support. We have a two-year-old daughter now, Ciara, and that means you want to be around a good bit more too, so you are trying to use your time as best you can."

There has been real progress made over the past year, and growing confidence that this team is on the right road to more success, and Callanan says they are a very tight group now.

"There is no better team building exercise than winning a championship game. You can do all the different things you want, but winning a championship game, that’s what brings a team together like nothing else, for me anyway.

"So definitely there is good momentum there and the mood in the camp is good. We’re pushing each other. To be honest, it is very much what is in front of us this year. And that is next Sunday. That is all that matters now."

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