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Cork ladies braced for Eamonn Ryan's departure after being hit with 'bolt out of the blue'

Eamonn Ryan is on the verge of linking up with new Cork senior football boss Peadar Healy.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A LEADING CORK ladies football board official has described speculation linking senior boss Eamonn Ryan with a switch to the men’s team as “a bolt out of the blue.”

Ryan could be set to link up with Peadar Healy’s new Cork set-up, a move that would leave the ladies senior football team with a massive void to fill.

Ryan has presided over ten All-Ireland senior football crowns since 2005 and it had been expected that he would remain in charge for the 2016 campaign.

According to reports, however, Healy has pinpointed Ryan for a role as selector and coach in his new regime.

Peadar Healy New Cork senior football boss Peadar Healy. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Cork Ladies Gaelic Football Association secretary Marion Crowley said last night: “The official word from Cork ladies football and I can honestly say, is that we have no confirmation one way or the other from Eamonn Ryan.

“It’s a bolt out of the blue for us, new information. The first time we saw it was on the paper this morning.”

Crowley explained that Ryan has not yet made his intentions clear for next year – but would be due to do so around this time.

She added: “He has said one way or the other – that would be standard.

“He’d come back to us around this time, one way or the other.”

Losing Ryan would make the job for his successor an almost impossible task, given the incredible success achieved by the Cork ladies over the past decade.

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Eamonn Ryan and Valerie Mulcahy celebrate Eamonn Ryan and Valerie Mulcahy celebrate All-Ireland glory in September. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

This year alone, Cork won the League title for a third successive year and despite losing to Kerry in the Munster decider, the Rebelettes recovered to win another All-Ireland.

Crowley admitted: “He would be a great loss, he’s done so much for Cork ladies football.

“There are no words to describe what he has done for ladies football in general, his ethos and his example are things to aspire to.

“It would be a great loss but we’re just waiting for him to confirm one way or the other what’s happening.

“He hasn’t been in contact, not that I’m aware of, but it’s possible he might have been in contact privately.”

Crowley added: “It’s very difficult for me to comment as I’m new to the job but I certainly was surprised when I heard the news. I haven’t been speaking to that many people since.”

Valerie Mulcahy celebrates with Shane Ronayne Shane Ronayne could fill the void left by Eamonn Ryan. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Shane Ronayne, who has worked alongside Ryan in recent times, would be viewed as a leading contender to take over, should news of the manager’s departure be confirmed.

Crowley said: “We’ll just have to wait for his (Ryan’s) decision. The first League match is at the end of January, looking at the schedule, and we would have to work on finding somebody new.”

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