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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 25 May, 2020

It’s ‘heart attack material’ being an inter-county senior hurling manager

TJ Ryan was in the senior hotseat for a championship game for the first time yesterday.

TJ Ryan embraces Limerick selector Paul Beary.
TJ Ryan embraces Limerick selector Paul Beary.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE PRESSURES OF inter-county senior management have grown enormously in recent years with the increase in the demands of the GAA.

TJ Ryan was the latest senior manager yesterday to experience the tension and pressure of donning a bainisteoir bib of a senior team on a championship Sunday.

‘Heart attack material’ was the colourful description that the Garryspillane man gave of spending 70 minutes on the sideline as he steered Limerick towards a Munster final.

“Starting out this was always going to be difficult. People who stood on the line, it’s not an easy place to be. It is heart attack material. You’ve got to try and read and puck every ball and at the same time keep a cool head.

“It’s not easy. It’s enjoyable today, getting a lot of pats on the back. Yesterday was day one, it’s been a good day and a good night for Limerick.”

It was a big change for Ryan from last year when he brought a Limerick team to Semple Stadium for a Munster championship tie against Tipperary.

On that occasion last May, Ryan watched the Limerick U21’s be convincingly defeated on a sombre night for hurling in the county.

“Yeah and I thought we had prepared well for the under-21 game at that time. I thought we had a good side and after 20 minutes the game was over. We did some bit in the second half to try and retrieve it but look, that’s hurling.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“It’s difficult, things went our way yesterday and you’re saying, ‘You’re the man’. I’m fully aware and fully understand what’s required to win these games. At the same time, it’s only the first one. As far as I’m concerned we’ve three more.

“My playing days kind of seem a long time ago now. I suppose today, the old memory is kind of short so right now it’s a great feeling. Something that we can build on and look forward to a Munster final now and go and try and retain the crown.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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