Joe Canning's comments on hurling going professional are hard to disagree with 2 years ago

Joe Canning's comments on hurling going professional are hard to disagree with

You can see exactly where he is coming from.

It's been some year for Joe Canning. The Galway centre-forward was named Hurler of the Year in November after helping the Tribesmen to the All-Ireland title in September.

After clinching Galway's first All-Ireland triumph in 29 years, there was an almost unanimous outpouring of goodwill for Canning who, many felt, would end a stellar career without the Liam MacCarthy Cup his talent so richly deserved, especially after ending up on the losing side in 2012 and 2015.

Dropping onto The Late Late Show on Friday night, Canning made for a fascinating guest, expressing his thoughts on the prospect of hurling going professional clearly and intelligently.

Speaking to host Ryan Tubridy, he said:

"I'd love to be professional, definitely, 100%. I'd love to do it every day... but that's just the way it is.

"To be honest I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't like to see it going down that road because it would lose our heritage in Ireland especially. It wouldn't sit right with me. It would lose the community spirit."

It's refreshing to hear such honesty. It's also difficult to disagree with the 29-year-old Portumna man. At the end of the day, we all love the community spirit of the GAA and wouldn't want anything to threaten its existence. Professional status would certainly be a threat.

Canning was also notably upfront with the perception of him as 'a hurler,' insisting that he isn't defined by the sport he plays and loves.

"I don't see hurling as my first thing. I see myself as a family person and that's what my family see me as. They see me as Joseph more so than Joe.

"Hurling doesn't define who I am. I feel uncomfortable when they call me 'Joe Canning the hurler'. I'm an amateur at the end of the day."

Canning, a Unicef Ireland goodwill ambassador, went on to share a poignant story about a young girl he met during a visit to the war-torn Syrian capital of Aleppo.

Unsurprisingly, the response to Canning's interview has been hugely positive. A class act on and off the pitch indeed.