Ryan: give ’09 players a shot

CORK 2009 hurling captain Ray Ryan has revealed that the current senior panel are unsure where they stand following Gerald McCarthy’s departure as Cork manager.

McCarthy’s tenure came to an acrimonious end on Tuesday night and he broke news to the 2009 squad at a meeting in the Mallow GAA Complex. Ryan and his teammates have featured for Cork in their opening three NHL games, but he admitted they are unaware if they will feature in Cork’s next tie against Clare on Sunday week.

“We just don’t know where we stand at the moment.

“I think we’re the same as every other player in the county in that sense, it’s just out of everyone’s hands as to who’ll be playing the next day. Whatever manager is put in place now, we’ll have to wait and see what 30 players he chooses to pick.”

Ryan remains hopeful that not all of the 2009 panel will be jettisoned despite the seemingly imminent return of the 2008 squad.

“Personally I would certainly hope that some of the lads would play again. I feel they’ve done enough to warrant another look at, in a couple of A v B games or whatever.

“Conor O’Sullivan, Chris Murphy, Tadhg Óg Murphy and Barry Johnston have been the four outstanding players for us and they deserve a chance.”

Ryan also revealed that the 2009 squad knew McCarthy’s departure was inevitable following the increased pressure he had come under in recent weeks.

“We knew this was going to come, with the pressure that was coming from different angles over the last two or three weeks.

“When the players meeting was called, we knew what was in store. There’s a lot of disappointment amongst the panel for Gerald in his position.

“We’ve a degree of loyalty to Gerald for the opportunities that he gave us and it’s disappointing the things that went on.

“Gerald told of his decision on Tuesday night and he was very emotional in having a chat with us. He thanked the players for the work they had put in over the last few months. Ger Fitzgerald also spoke. I then spoke on behalf of the lads and thanked him for giving us the opportunity to play for Cork.”

Despite the upheaval and controversy of the last few months, Ryan maintained that he harboured no regrets at having accepted the invitation to join the Cork squad.

“I’ve absolutely no regrets at all. That’s just the way I view things, I’ve no regrets. The last three or four months have been brilliant. It’s been a great experience playing senior inter-county hurling and it’s something that I have thoroughly enjoyed.”

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