All Star Ollie Canning Talks about Life and Upcoming Final
September 2, 2015
Four time Hurling All Star and Sky Sports GAA pundit, Ollie Canning, says Galway has a great chance in the All Ireland final this week. Canning took time away from his job as Project Manager with Kirby to reflect on his time in the game and his plans for the future.
“Growing up in Portumna, hurling played a huge part in my life. During my 15 year career as an inter-county hurler, I was lucky enough to make the All Star selection four times and play in two All-Ireland finals. We didn’t get over the line on either of these two occasions but the experience alone is something I will never forget. It was a wonderful period in my life and I’m so grateful to the many people who supported me throughout the years.”
Although retired from the inter-county competition, Ollie still has a close connection with the game. His brother, Joe, will be playing for Galway on Sunday and his family’s business, Canning Hurleys, provides the highest quality hurleys to both club and inter-county players here in Ireland and overseas.
“My family have always encouraged us to play; it’s a big part of our lives. But it was the sense of competition and the team dynamic that kept pushing me year after year. I loved the challenge and especially being part of the team. I could never give up the game completely, I still play for Portumna and my work with Sky Sports GAA means that a hurling conversation or a training session is never too far away.
More of my focus now is on my job. I’ve worked as a Project Manager with Kirby now for over five years. It’s not hurling, but it’s just as fast and every day is a new challenge. It’s all about working with a team of people, agreeing on a plan and getting the job done right – actually it’s not that different to sport in that way. I’m working on the Medtronic job in Galway at the moment, but other teams are working with Zimmer and Boston Scientific here in Galway. And we always need more help – if there’s any engineers out there who are looking for a great job opportunity with room to grow and develop, come and see me!
But as far as the final goes, I’ll be there as part of the Sky Sports coverage team and my family will be there too to support Joe and the rest of the Galway team. We know both teams will put their hearts and souls into the game. If Galway can reproduce the work rate that they showed against Tipperary in the semi-final, I think they have a great chance of bringing the Liam McCarty cup back to Galway for the first time in 27 years.”
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