Seamus Callanan could be climbing the steps of the Hogan Stand as an All-Ireland winning captain on Sunday but, if we are to believe him, it's not a moment he has given much thought to.

"I won't" he answers when asked by RTÉ Sport whether he will be composing a speech.

"It doesn't change much really. We’re on the road a long time now so there are a lot of guys in there that are leaders.

"It’s kind of only a title really. It’s another All-Ireland final, that’s the main one.

"I wouldn’t be overly concerned with it. But it is a great time of pride for Drom & Inch and family."

Callanan was man of the match in the 2016 All-Ireland final victory over this week's opponents Kilkenny when he scored a superb 0-13 (nine from play).

In the aftermath, he described the squad as "our brothers and our family" and given how long he has been soldiering with some members of the panel that doesn't seem a stretch.

"The likes of Michael Cahill, Padraic Maher and these guys, Under-12 championship, we were all the same age group," he explains.

"We would have met every year back then and even in schools matches, primary school and that. We would have been on underage panels together as well.

"There's a huge friendship there. I’m sure that’s probably in most inter-county panels, there’s usually a group of guys that have been together from underage all the way up along.

"It’s a fair journey. It’s great and there’s great friendships out of it apart from hurling. We’ve been through it all together. We’ve won and we’ve lost. You’ve had hard years and that but the bond always gets stronger and stronger.

"The more time you spend with people the stronger it is. The demands of inter-county hurling at this stage now are huge so you’re together more and more often. It’s all good and benefits you towards game time then."

Padraic Maher and Seamus Callanan in 2016

Like Brendan Maher, Paudie Maher, and Noel McGrath, this will be his sixth All-Ireland final, all of which have come against Kilkenny.

Tipp have won two (2010, 2016) to Kilkenny's three (2009, 2011, 2014 replay) in that time but Callanan insists past meetings will have little bearing on this year's result.

"Everything about Tipp-Kilkenny and hurling in general has changed. The game has evolved so much, and year on year it's evolving so much that you couldn’t compare games back then (in 2009/10) to now.

"You’re looking at a different Tipperary team and a different Kilkenny team. Lots of young lads after coming through the ranks and making an impression. It's two different teams altogether.

"Everyone is aware that when you're playing Kilkenny you really have to get yourself to a level that you were never at before to be even competitive."

Callanan and Liam Sheedy

One thing that is the same as those formative finals is the man on the sideline. Callanan's 2006 All-Ireland minor winning boss Liam Sheedy is back in the hotseat, having walked away after the 2010 triumph.

Sheedy started Callanan (0-03) in 2009 and sprang him from the bench for a crucial two-point cameo the following year.

The Portroe man has said he "owed it" to the class of 2006/2010 to come back while they were still playing. It's a respect that is reciprocated.

"Liam is a great guy," says the forward. "He has brought so much to it. He comes in and he's so energetic, he drives everything. He lives every second of it.

"When you see what the likes of management are putting in to it, and what the group of players are willing to put into it, it’s a huge effort.

"That effort is going on in every county across Ireland I’m sure and ourselves and Kilkenny are the two lucky teams that get to be there on the final day."

Callanan rattles the net against Cork

How does a team fail to win a Championship match in 2018 and bounce back to reach the final the following year? The start they got in May, bursting out of the blocks with a seven point-win in Cork, played a big part.

"There were fine margins last year," reflects Callanan. "A small bit of luck in a few games and the Championship could have opened up for us as well.

"But that’s the beauty of the Munster Championship at the moment. It’s really cut-throat from the start of the year. That makes the games exciting and it has made the Championship really exciting.

"With the new Championship structure, you're first game is really important. It sets you off on a positive note. If you lost and you’re trying to chase results, a little bit more pressure comes on.

"It was important to get a good start down there and a win down in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, that’s huge."

The 30-year-old has been back to his imperious best this season, something he puts down to getting through a full pre-season after undergoing back surgery and missing the League last term.

He has scored a goal in all seven of Tipperary's Championship games so far this summer, the pick of the bunch a superb half-volley early on in their epic semi-final clash with Wexford.

His forward colleague Niall O'Meara had overcooked a handpass but, rather than try to gather the sliotar, Callanan whipped it first time from the right edge of the large rectangle, sending a bullet of a shot past Mark Fanning and into the net. 

"Ideally, I wouldn't have whipped on it really but it bounced up lovely," he recalls. "If it went any further out to the side the goal chance maybe was gone.

"It just bounced up sweet and I had to pull on it at that stage. Thank God the connection was good and it went in.

"That was a bit of luck on the day too that it hopped up in my favour. You take them when you can get them."

That was Callanan's 34th green flag in Championship hurling, taking him past such luminaries of the game as Christy Ring and DJ Carey.

Another in the final would take him to joint third-place in the charts, alongside Kilkenny great Eddie Keher. Wouldn't it be fitting to do so in a final against Keher's county?

"It would just be nice to get a goal. It’s not about leaderboards or anything like that, it’s a goal for Tipperary," he smiles.

"If the goal chance doesn’t arise, that’s fine with me too.

"I’m not out there to break any records, I’m just out there to contribute as best as I can for Tipperary, and that’s it."

Follow the All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary (Sunday 3.30pm) via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie and the News Now app, watch live on RTÉ2 or listen to radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta