John Mullane weighs in on the possibility of a Joe Canning retirement u-turn

John Mullane Joe Canning

John Mullane believes that Joe Canning won’t return to inter-county hurling despite Henry Shefflin’s appointment as Galway’s manager.

Canning retired from inter-county hurling at the age of 32 after a disappointing year for Galway in which they were knocked out of the Leinster Championship by Dublin, before their season was ended by Waterford in an All-Ireland qualifier.

The Portumna man, who is considered to be Galway’s greatest-ever player, would still undoubtedly add plenty to his county should he reverse his retirement decision, but Waterford legend Mullane thinks such a possibility is unlikely.

Mullane was speaking on RTE’s Sunday Sport and said that while he expects Shefflin’s appointment will attract plenty of high-quality players to the Galway panel, he doesn’t expect Canning to be one of them.

John Mullane on Joe Canning.

“If Henry Shefflin picks up the phone, it will be very hard to say no to him,” Mullane said, but argued that it won’t attract Canning back.

“I don’t think so. I think Joe has made the right move for himself, the right move for Galway hurling.

“I think it might make Henry’s job an awful lot easier when he sits down with the other lads and says he wants to take Galway hurling in a different direction.”

Galway look to re-establish themselves under Henry Shefflin.

While Canning will be a notoriously difficult man to replace for Galway, the Tribesmen do have reason to believe they could re-establish themselves as one of the best teams in the country under Shefflin.

There is plenty of young and exciting talent coming through the ranks in Galway, as the county’s youngsters have won five of the last seven All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championships.

Although Galway performed far below their standards in this year’s senior championship, less than a year ago they came within three points of Limerick in the 2020 All-Ireland semi-final, which is the closest anyone has come to beating the Treaty county in the championship in the last two years.

Shefflin’s appointment could prove to be exactly what is needed to turn around a team that has stagnated in recent times and inspire both young and experienced Galway players on the panel to achieve All-Ireland glory.

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