End of Ryan's reign in Waterford

Michael Ryan's tenure as Waterford senior hurling manager is over after two years in charge, it has been confirmed tonight.

A message posted on the official Waterford GAA Twitter account said: "Michael Ryan has officially informed the Waterford County Board that he will not be seeking the position of senior hurling team manager for 2014."

It seems the Fourmilewater clubman has had a change of heart as in the aftermath of Waterford's memorable All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Kilkenny last month he seemed eager to remain in the managerial hot seat.

Pressed on the matter at the time, Ryan said: "It's up to the County Board. My name will be in the hat as I imagine will the rest of the management team."

He said that Waterford hurling has "a huge future" if it is "handled properly over the next few years", however Ryan will not be the man to take this young Déise panel forward.

He succeeded Davy Fitzgerald in the role in October 2011 and his first season of a two-year term contained a number of ups and downs, with two members of his management team - Br. Philip Ryan and Nicky Cashin - both resigning during a league campaign that saw Waterford narrowly avoid relegation.

Ryan's charges recovered to reach the Munster final but lost back-to-back Championship games to Tipperary and Cork, despite some good input from newly-appointed selectors Ken McGrath and Sean Cullinane.

McGrath resigned from the position in October with De La Salle's Ray Murphy replacing him, and Waterford had a good start to the current season with wins over Clare and Tipperary, allied to a draw with Cork, helping them to maintain their top-flight status in the league.

The Banner men gained revenge in June's Munster Championship opener though and despite Ryan's side gaining momentum in the qualifiers by beating Offaly and Westmeath, they came unstuck in that mid-July extra-time thriller against Kilkenny.

Former selector Peter Queally, who went up against Ryan for the job the last time, could be a possible contender for the vacant position along with the likes of Cashin, Cullinane and Sean Power, the latter having earlier today guided Waterford through to their first All-Ireland minor final appearance in 21 years.

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