Exclusive: Limerick’s John Galvin calls time on career

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524216_2LIMERICK footballer John Galvin has called time on his inter county career. Speaking exclusively to the Limerick Post this week, the midfielder confirmed his intention to retire from inter county football. Galvin starred for Limerick in a 15 year career, which started back in 1999. In that season, the Croom man made his debut against Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn in the Munster Championship as a teenager.
The following seasons saw the midfielder become a mainstay of Limerick football, playing in five Munster finals, (one a replay) winning two National League Division, four medals and a GPA Award in 2010. Galvin now feels that the time is right to leave the Limerick inter county set up.
“The time is right for me now I think. This has not been an easy decision, but I know that I have made the right call to move on. I informed John Brudair of my retirement this week and I want to thank him, first off, for his patience and time he gave me, to make up my mind.”
Galvin, who played club football this season with Cratloe of Clare (where he now lives), is not done yet with football altogether however. A defence of the Clare county title is firmly in his mind for the 2015 season.
“The demands on time and more importantly, a person’s body are huge these days for inter county players. I know I could have given it one more year, but I feel it is best for me and for Limerick that I move on. I’ll continue to play with Cratloe for the coming season alright. I have always been the kind of player who commits to something 100 per cent, so once I knew I could not give that to Limerick anymore, the decision was made for me.”
Looking back on his career, Galvin attributes the skills he learned playing basketball as being a huge boost to his GAA career.
“Playing basketball with Árd Scoil Rís really developed my ball skills. I have to thank Tommy Hehir, our coach at the time, for that. Winning the All Ireland Schools basketball title in 1998 gave me the ability and confidence to be more aggressive and involved in games on the football field.”
Indeed a year later Galvin was to make his senior debut under Liam Kearns against the aforementioned Cork. The year 2000 saw the number 9 captain the Limerick under21s to a Munster title, before losing the All Ireland final to Tyrone.
“Those were the golden days of Limerick football,” Galvin recalls.
“I have to thank all those people who helped me along the way with Limerick. My entire family and my wife Liane have been my biggest supporters over the years.  I have been lucky too, to have played under managers and coaches who have added something to my game every step of the way, from Liam Kearns, to Mickey Ned O’Sullivan, to Maurice Horan, Donie Buckley and of course, John Brudair in the last two seasons. I don’t want to leave anyone out, but people sometimes forget the work that goes into a senior football set up and I only wish I could have repaid them and the fans of Limerick with more silverware over the years.”
Galvin, a national basketball cup winner in 2002 with Burger King Limerick, was the focal point of the teams that went toe to toe with Kerry and Cork in the Munster finals of 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010.
“For me, those are the ones that got away. I suppose in time I’ll look back on the career and fondly remember the wins and the trophies we did manage to win, but those four Munster finals are games which will stay with me for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets, but I often wonder what might have been.”
Galvin, who has suffered two cruciate knee injuries in the last two seasons, has no interest “just yet” in coaching, but the Croom clubman is not ruling it out.
“This is the time to walk away from Limerick in terms of playing. I’m going to enjoy 2015 with the club and who knows what the future holds. All I can say is ‘thank you’ to everyone I played with and against over the years. Luimneach abú”