Dublin’s young sharpshooter Con O’Callaghan is not thinking about breaking records
We’re sure there’s many of you out there just counting down the days until the annual Dublin Bus/Herald Dubs Stars contest. To get a first glimpse of some of the rising starts in Inter County Football and Hurling. The pre-season competitions will get up and running. And before we know it the Allianz National Leagues will be slapping us rightly in the face.
And of course the inevitable subject will raise it’s head when the conversation turns to football. What can Jim Gavin’s men achieve next year? For most they’ll work on the assumption that it’s a foregone conclusion, a no contest. The five-in a-row is surely there for the taking. Yes, it absolutely is, but it’s unlikely the reigning All Ireland Champions will be looking past January.
Right now, some of the Dublin panel are enjoying the PwC All Stars tour in Philadelphia. A well deserved break following a hectic year for club and county. Plus the panel haven’t even met for training yet to get the new season underway.
Con O’Callaghan will be on the hunt for his fourth All Ireland medal in 2019. He’s gone from fringe panel member in 2016, goalscoring genius in 2017, finishing last year as a key and seasoned starter, clinching his third celtic cross.
And having exited the county hurling championship early with his club Cuala, Con can now both enjoy some time off and look ahead to the start of the football campaign with Gavin’s men next year. And this time there will be on club championship commitments keeping him from selection.
The League is the initial focus
But is the talk of records top of the topics in the training room?
“Our focus is league, which we always take seriously, and then championship. It’s not going to be about how many titles we’ve won.” O’Callaghan told The Herald
“Everyone knows that we focus on the process and if you start thinking about these glory titles – five-in-a-row – you’re probably not in the right head space to be playing matches.
And so far nothing has managed to alter the process that Jim Gavin and his backroom team have instilled in their players. Oppositions have tried, the media have tried, everyone has indeed tried.
“We try to stay together as a group, particularly when the games are getting big and there’s lots of people talking from outside.”
“Everyone will be trying to stop you – that’s the reality of it.”
Many have said that following his breakthrough year in 2017, where he captured more than a few of the sporting headlines, Con must have found it hard to follow that up in 2018. Add to that two All Ireland Hurling Championships with Cuala, you’d have to give the 22 year old sone credit for keeping both his head and his place on the Dublin side.
“it was a hugely enjoyable year, both personally and as part of the team. In 2017 I’d a really good year … I took a lot of chances, some things came off and they don’t always come off. But I really enjoyed the year (2018). Yeah, I was happy with it overall.”