Breaking: We cannot underestimate the role of the Coach. I wouldn't be able to do it says Michael Ryan.

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

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nd@tipperarystar.ie

Michael Ryan indicates that Tipperary goalkeeper issue will be “nailed down” soon

Former Tipp Boss Michael Ryan is looking forward to a cracking county championship in the Premier County.

Ex Tipp Boss does not rule out a return to management and speaks very positively about Premier prospects for 2018.

Former Tipperary hurling Manager Michael Ryan has pointed out the need to get the right new management team to take The Premier County forward into a next era.

The Upperchurch Drombane man alluded to the necessity  to get the right mix and blend in the management team and pointed to the influence that Donie Nealon had during the Michael Babs Keating era, and the influence Eamon O'Shea had during the Liam Sheedy reign. Ryan was central to both those eras, as a hurler in the first and selector in the second. He watched and learned how the role of the Coach differed greatly from that of Manager or selector. And, it is in this context that he claims Tipperary must get the next appointment right.

"I saw the unbelievable influence Donie Nealon had on our team during Babs time, and I saw the same with Eamon O'Shea during Liam Sheedy's time. The role of Coach and Manager are very different and so too is the role of selector. I wouldn't be able to do the job of coach, but I had a fair old view as a selector and then went on to manage as well.  We have to get the right pegs in the rights holes," he said.

Brendan Maher is recovering after cruciate knee ligament surgery which rules him out of action until next season.

It is widely accepted that Michael achieved this with his management team of Declan Fanning as Coach, and Conor Stakelum and John Madden as selectors. Each one brought their own unique skillset which ultimately delivered the All-Ireland title in 2016 for Tipperary. And, while Michael is the one receiving many of the plaudits this week, having stepped away from the role, he points out that everything is a team effort.

"Sure, you just couldn't do it without the input of Declan, Conor , John and the rest as well. We worked well together and we knew what was required. Nobody put in as much to this whole thing as the lads did, but we loved doing it. It was our privilege to work with the best hurlers in the county and we really enjoyed it," Michael said.

Speaking very positively about the future, Michael has not ruled out a return to management at some stage, although he points out that returns don't always happy happy endings. However, he is adamant that the new management will have decisions to make in terms of how they structure their season going forward.

Sarsfields Billy McCarthy - his career is under threat after picking up a horrible knee injury in a club game.

"Most new managements will want to do their own thing from the start, but if they were to ask me, I would say to them that we did not manage the new championship structure very well. That's a criticism of us. We should have been more experimental in the league and given ourselves a few weeks after the league and club campaign to gather ourselves for the championship.  I could not get over how tired our players were when they returned to us after club duty - they were very fatigued and it took us time to get over that before the championship. That will need to be addressed going forward," he said.

With the Tipperary u-21's taking on Galway in Limerick tomorrow evening, Michael returns to being a Premier supporter again - he has spent nine of the last eleven years in the Tipp camp after all. It will be a big change for him and his three compatriots, but he is looking forward to the down time too.

"I'm really looking forward to the closing stages of the divisional and county championships. I think there is a great season in prospect and I'm looking forward to being able to sit in the stand and fight and argue with those around me, without having to worry too much. We have a lot to look forward to in Tipp, so let's get on with it now," he says before wishing the injury stricken Brendan Maher and Billy McCarthy, the very best with their recovery from serious knee surgery.