"It's special playing with your brothers and cousins" - Dublin dual star Con O'Callaghan focused on hurling glory
After just a few minutes of speaking to Dublin dual star Con O'Callaghan, you immediately wonder how the man can juggle his various football and hurling commitments.
O'Callaghan spoke to SportsJOE at the AIB GAA Provincial Club Player awards where he happily received the 2016 Leinster Club Hurler of the Year award for his heroics with Cuala.
O'Callaghan has been on fire with his club this season, scoring an impressive 1-04 in the provincial decider against O'Loughlin Gaels.
He and his clubmates now face Ulster champions Slaughtneil, who are looking to make history themselves, in the All-Ireland semi-final on February 25.
O'Callaghan is an accomplished footballer too with a number of accolades to his name including an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medal with Jim Gavin's footballers.
However, he was on the periphery of the Dublin panel last year and was hoping to make more of an impact in the league campaign ahead of this season's championship.
Now with Cuala's season extending into February at least, the football will have to wait.
"Definitely, that’s obviously a long-term target (breaking into Jim Gavin's side). I have to just play it by ear. I’ll really focus on the Slaughtneil match. Whatever happens after that will happen, but in the long term I’d love to be able to break through. But it’s too far in the future to think about it at the moment. I have to forget football for the moment and focus on the hurling.”
Unfortunately for O'Callaghan, the days of the dual senior inter-county player seem to be coming to an end, with the physical demands and commitments associated with competing at the top level in both codes becoming too insurmountable to maintain.
For O'Callaghan, it's no secret that football is his number one choice. However, he realises the importance of representing your club in an All-Ireland semi-final and this is something he is committed to 100%.
"Opportunities don’t come around in the club very often and really, it’s a great problem to have – to be in between a load of teams.
“There are so many good teams that I’m playing with, it’s great to have that problem...You have to look at the potential benefits of playing with the club, and it’s really special playing with your clubmates and brothers and cousins.”
It's easy to see from O'Callaghan's demeanor when you are speaking with him that this is a man who truly takes everything in his stride - very little fazes him.
This seems to apply to his sporting career. You can't imagine too many people his age being so at ease with these circumstances whereby he is being pulled in so many directions having to stay in touch with the various teams that he is involved in.
For now, hurling will take precedence and his aspirations to make his mark on the Dublin senior footballers will have to wait a little bit longer.
Zach Tuohy on the latest GAA Hour show which also includes a David Breen interview and some Denis Bastick love. Listen below or subscribe here on iTunes.
While you're here, check out the latest episode of #SportsJOElive where we had Irish legends Shay Given and Clinton Morrison on the couch!
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