"Eamon O’Shea was special amongst them all" - Seamus Callanan hails legendary coach in retirement statement
Seamus Callanan has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.
The Drom-Inch club-man enjoyed a marvellous sixteen year inter-county career that saw him win almost every honour in the game.
In a statement this morning, Callanan unsurprisingly mentioned that captaining the Premier to the All-Ireland in 2019 was the highlight, but this man has any number of fond memories to look back on.
His first All-Ireland came in 2010 when, having come on as a sub, Callanan sealed the deal for Tipperary with two late points from play. There were some trying years to come, with Callanan's form dipping in the years that followed.
But, with the arrival of Eamon O'Shea as manager, he was back to his best by 2014 and from then on, he went onto become the most prolific goalscorer in hurling championship history. He ended his career with a remarkable 40 championship goals for his county.
Indeed, in his statement this morning, the 34-year-old paid a particular tribute to Eamon O'Shea, a 'mentor and a friend,' who had a 'significant impact' on his career.
"After 16 years as a Tipperary senior hurler," read Callanan's statement, "I have decided to announce my retirement from Inter-County Hurling. Playing for Tipperary has always been a huge privilege for me, and I am very grateful to have had such an enjoyable career with so many great memories.
"The highlight of my playing career was undoubtedly captaining Tipperary to All-Ireland success in 2019. Coming back to Tipperary and Drom and Inch with the Liam McCarthy Cup is something I will treasure forever. I will always be very grateful to Liam Sheedy for entrusting me with the role of captain.
"I wish to thank all the Tipperary players I had the pleasure of calling my teammates since 2008. I have made lifelong friends and feel honoured to have taken to the pitch with some of the greatest hurlers who ever wore the Tipperary jersey.
"I am also grateful to all the managers and backroom teams who gave me so much support and guidance through the years.
"I have been fortunate to meet many great people during my time hurling with Tipperary and through the GAA, but Eamon O’Shea was special amongst them all. As a mentor and friend, his guidance had a significant impact on my career, and I want to thank him most sincerely.
"A special thank you to the Tipperary County Board, Tipperary Supporters Club, Tipperary team sponsors and the GPA who have always been very supportive. I wish to thank each and every Tipperary supporter, who I am proud to have been able to represent in wearing the blue and gold.
"To my club, Drom and Inch, who laid the foundations for my career, my sincerest thanks to you all.
"Representing our club on the inter county stage has been something that has always filled me with immense pride.
"I couldn’t be associated with a better group of people, and I look forward to lining out with Drom and Inch for many years to come.
"My Parents, John and Mary, my sister, Fiona, and my brother John, have been instrumental to the success of my hurling career.
"Their constant encouragement and guidance throughout the highs and lows has been so greatly appreciated and there are no words to describe my gratitude to them.
"My fiancée, Lauren, has been another constant support through the highs and the lows and has made many sacrifices to enable me to give my full commitment to hurling. I want to thank her for all she has done for me and being able to share many successes with her has made my time with Tipperary extra special.
"Finally, I wish Tipperary all the very best for 2024.
"I have no doubt that the players and management have the ability and commitment to bring more success to the county and I look forward to being amongst the Tipperary supporters cheering them on."
Tipperary senior hurling manager Liam Cahill thanked Seamus for his outstanding commitment to Tipperary over a long and distinguished career in the blue and gold. Liam said “I have been privileged to have known and managed Seamus if only for a short period of time. Seamus leaves us with countless memorable moments and a legacy that will inspire future generations of young hurlers not just in Tipperary but across Ireland, he owes nothing to Tipperary and I wish him the very best in to the future”.