Michael Ryan: ‘It’s a big challenge, but it’s also a challenge that we are looking forward to’

Tipperary intermediate hurling manager Michael Ryan has been delighted by the efforts of his players ahead of Sunday’s Munster semi-final against Limerick at Páirc na nGael. And, the proud Fethard man is hoping that supporters of the blue and gold will make it their business to take their seats good and early at the Gaelic Grounds in order to support this Tipperary team (throw-in 1.45pm).

Tipperary intermediate hurling manager Michael Ryan has been delighted by the efforts of his players ahead of Sunday’s Munster semi-final against Limerick at Páirc na nGael. And, the proud Fethard man is hoping that supporters of the blue and gold will make it their business to take their seats good and early at the Gaelic Grounds in order to support this Tipperary team (throw-in 1.45pm).

“We are happy with the quality of player that we have and we are happy with how training has been going and with the effort that the lads have put in,” Michael Ryan told the Tipperary Star.

“All the players have worked extremely hard, they have given us everything and now we are hoping that they can bring that form out in a match. If we do lose the match it won’t be for a want of trying anyway,” Michael Ryan explained.

Ryan is joined on the management team by coach Michael Ferncombe (Holycross-Ballycahill) and selectors Seán O’Meara (Shannon Rovers) and Eamonn O’Dwyer (Arravale Rovers). The panel also features some notable individuals including Timmy Hammersley (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Denis Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Joey McLoughney (Toomevara), Darragh Egan (Kildangan), Michael Butler (Drom & Inch), Pádraig Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Seán McCormack (Borris-Ileigh) and Pádraig Greene (Upperchurch-Drombane). Sadly injury has ruled out Danny O’Hanlon (Carrick Swans), but Michael Ryan has been thrilled by the efforts of players like vice-captain Orrie Quirke (Silvermines) and, especially, team captain David Young (Toomevara).

“In fairness to David (Young) he’s shown great enthusiasm for it,” Michael Ryan.

“He’s a big boost to us and he’s a great leader. I think we are very lucky to have him.”

In 2012 Michael Ryan guided Tipperary to an All-Ireland intermediate title. The campaign featured a stirring final victory over Kilkenny (3-13 to 1-17) while it also featured a first round win over Limerick (2-20 to 1-11) at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh. That evening Limerick proved very disappointing, but this time Michael Ryan is expecting a much more significant challenge.

“We beat them fairly well last year so we are expecting Limerick to come full belt at us this year,” Michael Ryan explained.

“Limerick are a passionate county, a good hurling county and we are expecting that they will throw absolutely everything at us.”

Tipperary’s preparations have featured challenge matches against the Premier under-21s, Clarinbridge (Galway), the Laois seniors and the Kilkenny intermediate team in recent weeks.

Indeed, Michael Ryan is looking forward to taking on a Limerick team who are sure to be highly motivated.

“It’s a big challenge, but it’s also a challenge that we are looking forward to,” Tipperary manager Michael Ryan told the Tipperary Star.