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  • GAA

Ryan's legacy secured by making unselfish decision

Wednesday, 8th August, 2018 11:22am

Story by Shane Brophy
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Ryan's legacy secured by making unselfish decision
Ryan's legacy secured by making unselfish decision

It was kind of fitting that not long after Michael Ryan stepped down as Tipperary senior hurling manager, Eamonn Fitzmaurice did so as Kerry football boss.

What these two jobs have in common is that they are the most demanding in both codes of the GAA. Rightly or wrongly, failure just isn't accepted by the fans in either county and as they exited, both Ryan and Fitzmaurice did so with class, neither making it about themselves but what is best for their county.

The news of Michael Ryan's departure came as a shock to many but overall, it isn't a surprise that he has chosen now as the time to exit the inter-county management scene, and we'll only know in time if it is the right call.

It brings to an end a lengthy period of service for the Upperchurch/Drombane clubman who was first being drafted in as a selector under manager Liam Sheedy in late 2007, continuing until 2010 when they guided Tipperary to the All Ireland title.

With Liam Sheedy stepping away as manager following that success, Ryan opted not to throw his hat in the ring then but did return in late 2012 when Eamon O’Shea succeeded Declan Ryan as manager, with Michael Ryan then assuming the top job in 2016 after O’Shea’s reign came to an end, guiding Tipperary to All Ireland glory that year.

It seemed that Tipperary finally had the right combination of style and substance in their play, directed by a manager whose honesty was his calling card. While the All Ireland win over Kilkenny sticks in the mind from that year, the Munster semi-final win over Limerick when down to fourteen men for over an hour was the real hallmark of a Michael Ryan team and an indication that Tipperary were the real deal.


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