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Ryan: Waterford 'have to improve in every aspect'

Waterford’s new senior hurling manager gives his thoughts on the county’s prospects on his first day in the job.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

MICHAEL RYAN IS under no illusion regarding the challenges which Waterford’s hurlers must overcome if they are to bring the Liam McCarthy Cup back to the Déise.

The Fourmilewater clubman was unveiled as the county’s new senior hurling manager last night, becoming the first native in 15 years to hold the job.

After successful spells with Waterford’s women and U21 footballers at inter-county level, as well as with De La Salle on the club scene last season, Ryan was targeted by the six-man nomination committee and ratified by a special meeting of the county board along with his backroom team of  Pat Flanagan, Nicky Cashin and Brother Philip Ryan.

Waterford have come perilously close to becoming hurling’s nearly men in recent years, winning four Munster titles since 2000 while failing to break their All-Ireland duck which stretches all the way back to 1959.

And speaking to RTÉ’s Brian Carthy, Ryan was clear that wholesale improvements will be needed if he and his new charges are to take that final step.

“We have to improve in every aspect, in every facet. We haven’t been good enough. There’s no doubt about that, and there’s no point in saying otherwise.

We’ve got to improve our hurling, we’ve got to improve our team-work, we’ve got to improve our strength and conditioning and I think above all, we’ve got to improve our mindsets. The top teams, they’ve got all those ingredients and our mindset and our confidence has got to be very, very high.

Ryan was also quick to flag the inconsistency which has been the county’s Achilles’ heel in recent years.

“We’ve had some tremendous results over the years, but we’ve never quite done enough to win the Championship. We’ve never been consistent. We need to put four or five good, consistent performances together. I think that’s the secret.”

There’s a big job on hand and there’s a big challenge out there, but I’m really looking forward to it.

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Niall Kelly

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