Joe Canning: Playing in Munster futile

Galway talisman Joe Canning has admitted he sees no benefit from the county potentially entering the Munster hurling championship.

Joe Canning: Playing in Munster futile

A motion submitted through the Galway convention proposing all Galway inter-county teams participate together in the same province will be debated at Congress next month.

The Galway seniors have been playing in Leinster since 2009 though their minors and U21s remain isolated in Connacht with no provincial structure. The other big issue is the Tribesmen have yet to play a home game in the Leinster senior championship as eastern counties have refused to enter into a home and away arrangement.

Moving to Munster is the obvious alternative though Canning poured cold water on that idea.

“I don’t see the benefit of going into Munster,” said Canning. “What are we going to do? Munster mightn’t let us play home games either. It’s the underage thing, that the minors and U21s get more matches. They’re missing out on development.

“I know the U21 is knock-out — you can get back in after losing one of the minor games — and some counties have just one game a year at U21 while other counties have four or five games throughout the year, developing all the time. Wexford, in the last few years, have won three Leinster titles.

"They have a serious crew coming through that have played seriously competitive matches. All of our guys, at 22, 23, have probably played three games over the last three years, four or five maybe, whereas you have another team playing 12. So there is a huge gap there in terms of development.”

Canning himself is recovering from the horrific leg injury he sustained in last August’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary.

“I ripped the tendon basically,” explained the Portumna ace. “The muscle is fine. The tendon attaches the muscle to the bone in your arse basically. If it comes off the bone, it usually brings a bit of the bone with it.

“So Paul O’Connell, for instance, would have brought some of the bone and that never really heals. So you’d see a lot of rugby guys now retiring from it. It’s five months next Tuesday since the surgery, so they say it’s a seven/eight month kind of a thing. I’m a little bit ahead but I’d say it will be March by the time I’m fully back.”

Canning said coming within a point of beating Tipp, the eventual champions, didn’t bring much solace last year. “No, you’d be kind of half sickened to be straight up,” he said. “There’s no point in saying any other way. You become very selfish in those situations and you’re kind of going, ‘fuck it, like, we could have been there, that could be us’.

“It’s not feeling sorry for yourself in any way, it’s just frustration, I suppose. You’d like to be a part of winning. You see other guys winning so many — Kilkenny winning 10, 12, in the last number of years and you’re kind of going: ‘Jesus, if I only got one I’d be happy enough’.”

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