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'He's an exceptional coach' - support for Waterford manager candidate Ryan

The Cork native has been linked with the vacant managerial position.

WITH THE HUNT to find Derek McGrath’s successor in Waterford potentially resolved with a Cork solution, Diarmuid O’Sullivan has backed the credentials of his former Rebel team-mate Pat Ryan to make a success of the role if appointed.

Pat Ryan Pat Ryan enjoyed success with his club Sarsfields and the Cork senior side last year. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Ryan has emerged as a strong contender to fill the Deise managerial hotseat which has been vacant since McGrath departed last month after five campaigns in charge.

Last summer Ryan worked in a coaching role with the Cork senior hurlers and O’Sullivan, a selector on that side that won the Munster title, is well-placed to judge his credentials.

“I don’t know what way Pat thinks or what he sees best for himself. All I can say is about Pat Ryan, he’s an exceptional coach. He’s been a friend of mine for a long, long number of years since we played U21 together.

“Has he the ability to be a top manager? I would believe he has. If Waterford are lucky enough to reap the benefits of him going down there, best of luck to him.”

Paddy Power (3) Cork Hurling Legend and Paddy Power GAA ambassador Diarmuid O'Sullivan was speaking ahead of Sunday's game in Croke Park.

Prior to working with the county senior side under Kieran Kingston, Ryan established himself on the local scene in Cork as he managed Sarsfields to club senior hurling crowns in 2012 and 2014. He had previously won a senior medal with his club as a player in 2008 along with winning an All-Ireland senior medal with Cork back in 1999.

Pat Ryan Pat Ryan in action for Cork in the 2000 All-Ireland senior hurling semi-final. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

If he is appointed, O’Sullivan feels Ryan has plenty talent to work with in Waterford but will need to handle the transition period from the Derek McGrath era.

“There is serious talent down there. If he does go there I suppose, he just needs to move the whole thing on quickly. He can’t allow the hangover from Derek McGrath I suppose to be there.

“We’ve all heard the admiration the players have had for Derek McGrath and we’ve all seen them come out on social media, bits and pieces, their praise for him and what he’s done for them, not only as players but off the field.

“If Pat does go down there, he needs to get rid of that hangover straight away, set down his own mark and take it from there.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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