Tipperary senior hurling manager Michael Ryan insists he has no plans to stay as long in the role as Brian Cody in Kilkenny.
Ryan has signed up to a fresh three-year term in charge of the Premier County — an agreement that will take him up to the end of the 2020 championship if completed.
But as the Upperchurch-Drombane man looks ahead to the next season, he has stressed the importance of identifying and grooming his successor.
That man could be Liam Cahill, the 2016 All-Ireland minor winning manager, who has stepped up to the U21 ranks for the next three years.
Ryan conceded there were plenty of ‘what ifs’ after watching Galway take Tipp’s All-Ireland crown earlier this month, having lost to the Tribesmen in the semi-final.
Ryan told Tipp FM: “In the aftermath of an immediate loss, you do have to ask yourself those hard questions — what did you miss, what didn’t you get right?
“To watch Galway go ahead and win their final as well, the what ifs go on and on.
“But it’s over, the All-Ireland’s been won, it’s sitting in the west and 2018 is a new beginning for every team.
“The champions of 2017 are very worthy champions and they’ll be a formidable force again in 2018.
“But there has been a great levelling off in terms of the top teams — it’s no longer down to one, two, or three.
“There’s a far greater number (of contenders) now, you could make a very realistic case for any of maybe five teams.”
Ryan will work again with coach Declan Fanning, and selectors John Madden and Conor Stakelum.
“We’re not trying to emulate a Brian Cody or anything like it.
“We’re just trying to work with this bunch of players as best we can but the next management group need to be identified and brought through as well.”
Ryan’s brother John will abseil from the Hogan Stand of Croke Park on Saturday week, December 7, in support of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Michael said: “It takes great courage to do it. You’d need a great head for heights. It’s a very worthy cause, one that’s very close to our hearts in our family, given that our father, Tommy suffers with Motor Neurone.
“We want to raise awareness and John’s going to take on that initiative.”
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