The hunt is on for a new management team for the Tipperary senior hurlers following the announcement this week that Declan Ryan, Tommy Dunne and Michael Gleeson will not be seeking another term in charge of the side.
Expressions of interest are being sought from potential coaches this week, The Tipperary Star understands.
The Declan Ryan led management made their feelings known to the County Board officers before the weekend, thereby confirming speculation that they would not continue in their roles, following Tipperary’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final. And, while there has been a huge backlash from that defeat with significant fallout across the Premier County, there has also been a large degree of sympathy for the players and management who invested so much time into their campaign, but came up short. Their tactics have been widely criticised and the feeling in Tipperary was that their position was untenable.
The Tipperary County Board and the senior hurling panelists have thanked Declan, Tommy and Michael for leading Tipperary to two Munster senior hurling championship successes and for their dedication and commitment in carrying out their roles during the last two years.
“All three men have made a great contribution to the GAA in Tipperary over a long number of years and we are fortunate that men of their calibre have been willing to serve the county so generously and so loyally. We acknowledge the time, effort and many personal sacrifices they and their families have made in the interests of Tipperary’s senior hurling fortunes and we firmly believe that their good work will lead to continued success for the county. We wish them and their families well for the future and we look forward to their continued involvement with and contribution to the GAA in Tipperary,” a statement from the Board said.
A committee led by County Chairman, Sean Nugent, will now commence the search for a new senior hurling management team and speculation is rife as to who will be in the new set-up. Names such as Nicky English, Liam Sheedy and Eamonn O’Shea are being mentioned, but it is unclear whether they are in a position to take on such a huge role at this stage. Others mentioned include Richard Stakelum, Ken Hogan, Colm Bonnar, Paudie Butler, John McIntyre, Dinny Cahill, Eddie Enright, Liam Cahill and Declan Carr.
One thing for certain: Tipperary will not be looking outside the county for a senior Manager or Coach. County Board Chairman Sean Nugent told The Tipperary Star this week, “If a County Chairman was looking to get his P45, a good way of going about it would be to suggest an outside Manager for the senior hurling team. We would pride ourselves on having plenty of people capable of doing the job and we won’t be looking beyond them,” Sean said.
The aim is to have the new management in place by the end of September and while the Chairman admits that this is an ambitious target, the hope is that the new management will be able to view the closing stages of the county championship in a different light. The recommendation of the committee will be brought before County Board for formal ratification whenever it in place.