Over the last few seasons here at Severn Sport we have followed and covered U18s football within Gloucestershire and always look to highlight the high quality of player the county is producing and one of the stand out players in the last two seasons has been George Callinan.
Born into a football family with father Tommy remembered for his time at Forest Green Rovers and Gloucester City either side of the turn of the millennium and older brother Tommy Jr who grabbed our headlines last season with a history making goal for Longlevens in the FA Vase, George now finds himself growing into men’s football after a successful stint at Slimbridge U18s and Cirencester Academy.
“I think over the last two seasons with Slimbridge I’ve grown as a player,” Callinan told us.
“They gave me confidence and I enjoyed every minute being with the lads. I think we’ve been the best U18s team in the county over the last two seasons and it was unfortunate that this season was cut short really as I feel we would’ve gone on to win a couple of trophies,” added the defender.
Callinan joined Slimbridge from Tuffley Rovers and was a focal point in building a side that played attractive football and were competitive at U18s level, so much so the club are now running a Development side too.
During his first season at Thornhill Park, George joined Longlevens and began to get experience in the Men’s game for the 3rd and Reserve team – finding himself used in a number of positions, before moving through to finding himself included in Longlevens’ First Team squad as defensive cover during the 2019/20 season.
“When I joined Longlevens they did really well with me, although I didn’t think of it like that at the time,” admitted Callinan.
“They made it easier for me growing into men’s football, I started playing in the 3rds with Loidy and I learnt that I couldn’t be immature anymore and that I had to stand up to the players I was playing against and had to be stronger than I was and I couldn’t thank Loidy enough for that season.
Then at the start of the 2019/20 season I found out Kavs [Luke Kavanagh] was taking over the Reserves and I was buzzing as I knew what he wanted to do as the Reserves manager.
He trusted me and believed in me even though I probably still wasn’t the best player in that team, but I played all through pre-season and a couple of league games and then got a call up to the First Team and again I have been shown nothing but trust and belief by Spider [Craig Martin]. So overall its been easier than what it could have been because of the way the club have handled me,” Callinan added.
Whilst Callinan was making his way through to Longlevens’ First Team he continued to play for Slimbridge U18s and learning at Cirencester Town Academy, becoming a more experienced player within the group.
But now he is a member of Longlevens’ First Team, George finds himself playing in the same side as his brother and also being managed by his father, so does that effect him at all?
“It makes no difference really,” said Callinan.
“My brother is one of the best technical players I know, so its good for me to play with him, and my dad is one of the best coaches around with all of his experience and knowledge.
I have more chance to become a better player in the current Longlevens team and obviously we all want the same thing in wanting each other to do well and succeed,” Callinan added.
Now as Longlevens look to get their pre-season for the 2020/21 season underway this weekend, Callinan is looking to continue his progression in men’s football.
“This season I hope to just keep improving and growing as a player by being more consistent with performances which will prove to everyone how good I can be.”