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Who'll be in the frame to become the next Tipperary senior hurling boss?

Michael Ryan stepped down this evening.

TIPPERARY’S SEARCH FOR their senior hurling supremo in 2019 has begun in the wake of Michael Ryan’s departure this evening.

Ryan had been at the helm for three seasons – steering Tipperary to the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2016 – but who will be in line to replace him?

pjimage Tipperary are on the hunt for a new manager. Source: INPHO

Underage System

There are a few candidates who have been working with Tipperary’s youngsters. Liam Cahill could come into the frame. He is currently preparing to guide Tipperary in next Wednesday’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 hurling semi-final against Galway. In 2016 he steered Tipperary to the All-Ireland minor hurling title, a season after taking the minor outfit to the All-Ireland decider.

Current minor boss Tommy Dunne saw his Tipperary team triumph in the Munster final in July. He has previously coached Premier sides to All-Ireland glory at minor (2007) and U21 (2010), while serving as coach alongside Declan Ryan with the senior squad in 2011 and 2012.

William Maher masterminded Tipperary’s 2012 All-Ireland minor success, went on to take charge of the U21 side for a couple of recent campaigns and also had a spell as a Waterford senior selector.

William Maher William Maher has previous spells with the Tipperary minor and U21 hurlers. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Learning From The Outside

What about a local contender who has been working on the outside? The county’s iconic former goalkeeper Brendan Cummins – who was part of two Liam MacCarthy Cup glories and won five All-Star awards – has been involved in coaching roles with Laois and Kerry since he retired in 2013.

Brendan Cummins is interviewed Brendan Cummins interviewed after Kerry's Division 1B relegation/promotion play-off victory in 2015. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

Kiladangan club man Eamonn Kelly has been in charge of the Kerry, Offaly and Laois senior hurling outfits since 2014. He announced in June that he would not be seeking a third year in charge of Laois.

Colm Bonnar is a vastly experienced operator and guided Carlow to the Joe McDonagh Cup title in June. He had stated last month he would stay involved for another season but could be tempted if his native county came calling. A Tipperary All-Ireland winner as a player, Bonnar was previously in charge of Wexford, has enjoyed success with Waterford IT and helped Ballyhale Shamrocks win the 2015 All-Ireland club title.

The Second Coming

Could Tipperary turn to former All-Ireland winning hurling bosses? It’s easy to imagine 2001 victor Nicky English and 2010 winner Liam Sheedy being popular choices with Tipperary fans. Whether either would be interested in returning for a second spell in charge remains to be seen.

Nicky English Nicky English celebrates Tipperary's 2001 All-Ireland senior final victory. Source: INPHO

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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