Tom Ryan and his former senior captain Ciaran Carey are returning to inter-county management with Limerick. Ryan has been proposed as the county’s new intermediate hurling team manager, with Carey set to take over the U21s for a second time.
Ryan was manager in 1994 and 1996 when Limerick contested All-Ireland senior finals. And three-time All Star Carey was captain when he scored a sensational winning point that ended Clare’s reign as Munster and All-Ireland champions in 1996.
Bar a stint with Limerick’s U16s in 1998, Ryan has been out of top level inter-county management with his native county since 1997.
But the outspoken Ballybrown clubman, who managed the Westmeath seniors from 2003-05, will also be working as a selector alongside Carey with the U21s.
Ryan explained: “My role is to develop players for the senior team. The link between minor, U21 and senior has to be explored a lot more.”
Ryan views the intermediate set-up as a useful stepping stone to senior ranks. He added: “We are Munster senior champions but we have to look down the road to support the senior squad the whole time. We want to rattle the U21 championship as well.”
With the intermediates, Ryan will be assisted by former Limerick players Jimmy Carroll, Don Flynn and Pat Howard.
And Carey, who last managed the U21s in 2008, will work alongside Ryan, Liam O’Donoghue and another former All Star defender, Mark Foley.
Meanwhile, Ryan has expressed disappointment with the decision of Central Council to retain the status quo for next year’s NHL, which leaves Limerick outside of the top tier for a fourth season.
But Ryan is more concerned with the overall structure of the fixtures calendar — insisting club players should not be playing top level matches during winter months.
Ryan fumed: “What I am absolutely disgusted about, annoyed out of my brain, is the club championships. It’s a disgrace and sooner or later somebody needs to take the bull by the horns in Croke Park.
“This is a summer job and it’s unfair to have teams hurling in muck and s**t when they can’t see the ball at times.
“We’ve spent thousands on sending hurlers to America for a mock thing [Super 11s Hurling at Notre Dame], when no one is looking at it.
“I’m hoping sooner or later that a GAA president will go in and say that he’s not a fan of what’s going on.
“He [Liam O’Neill] is doing a lot of talking and doing nothing.”
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