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15th Mar 2023

Ruairi Canavan: What it’s like growing up in the Canavan household

Lee Costello

Ruairi Canavan

“Everybody in our house is competitive, the girls too.”

Ruairi Canavan has officially arrived as a senior county player with Tyrone, just as his brother had done a few years ago, and his father a few decades before that.

Peter Canavan obviously has a special place in the heart of Tyrone fans, as his unbelievable skill, scoring prowess and talent brought so many happy memories for the Ulster county, including their first ever All-Ireland title in 2003.

Then in 2021, Darragh Canavan broke onto the scene, and helped his team win their fourth All-Ireland, and is now a key member of the senior panel.

Ruairi Canavan“The 2023 season marks the ninth year of EirGrid’s sponsorship of the U20 Football Championship. EirGrid, the operator of Ireland’s electricity grid, is leading the transition to a low carbon energy future.”

2023 promises to be the start of something special though, as Ruairi, the youngest brother, is now a fully fledged senior player, marked by his two points in Tyrone’s victory over Kerry two weeks ago.

Their club Errigial Ciaran, have already seen the benefits of having two Canavan’s at their disposal, winning their first county championship in over ten years in 2022, and now the county team are hoping to see similar success.

However with a name as famous in the GAA as theirs, a certain level of expectation and pressure, perhaps unfairly, comes with it.

Ruairi Canavan

Speaking in an exclusive interview on the latest episode of the GAA Hour, Ruairi explains what it was like managing those expectations.

“There’s a wee bit of expectation there from people, but within our own club and house like, there’s no expectations there, you’re just told to go out and work hard, as with everything.

“There’s times that you would maybe get a bit of criticism or plaudits that you wouldn’t be getting only because of your dad, but it’s just something you have to get on with.

Ruairi Canavan

“It’s nice to learn of Darragh too, but none of it really affects me. It’s enjoyable playing with Darragh, to still be able to learn stuff of him as with all the boys in the club and county.

“He’s playing well at the minute, and it’s good that he’s staying injury free. Obviously I grew up with him, so it’s nice to get the chance to play with him.”

It might not be much of a surprise to hear that Ruairi grew up in quite a competitive household, and one that’s shaped who he is today.

Ruairi Canavan

“Everybody in our house is competitive, the girls too. It’s a very competitive house, even with cousins and everything, but it was class growing up there.

“Me and Darragh were going to trainings with da, and kicking about there, and I was always looking up to his teams that were winning, and it was good to have those boys to look up to when you’re younger.

“We played in minors for a year together – well, he was starting and I wasn’t, but that was the first year that I got to train with him and that group of boys.

Ruairi Canavan

“A couple of that team are in the senior squad now, like Joe Oguz and Cormac Quinn, so it’s good to grow up with them boys and now we’re at that level together.

“We would get up to training together with Cormac because he drives, and it is nice – there’s a close bound obviously within the club and it’s good that we’re able to share them experiences together.”

You can listen to the full interview here: The GAA Hour sits down with Ruairi Canavan

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