CAMOGIE: Ryan reaches end of line with Premier side
ONE of camogie's most successful modern day managers Raymie Ryan of Tipperary has called it a day after two successful years of county management.
The Cashel club member, who still lines out with the senior hurling team, guided the Tipperary team to two successive All-Ireland victories, two Munster championship titles, and this year completed the hat-trick when they won their first National League title since 1977.
Replacement names have been mentioned, but it will not be known for some time yet who will guide the Tipperary team into the future.
Ryan, who took over from fellow county hurler Michael Cleary after the 2002 All-Ireland defeat by Cork, had very little knowledge of camogie before taking up the position.
However, in his first year he managed to win the first Munster title in 26 years, defeating the old enemy Cork in the Munster final, before going all the way to the All-Ireland final.
"My highpoint was the 2003 All-Ireland final," said Ryan. "That day the entire team in my opinion hurled exceptionally well.
"When I came into the position, I had very little background information on camogie but very soon I realised just how focused these girls were and it was a joy to work with them over the past number of years. But I now intend to take a well earned break, but my interest will always remain," commented Ryan who will be in attendance at this year's first ever All-Star Banquet in CityWest Hotel on December 4.
The Cashel manager will always go down in the history books as the man who guided the Premier county to victory in the centenary year. Between his predecessor Michael Cleary and himself Tipperary have appeared in every senior All-Ireland final since 1999 when they won their first ever title.
Ryan maintains that the game of camogie is beginning to level out much more. "Even in my two years I have noticed how near Wexford are, Galway are coming and this year, Dublin gave us a very close call in the League semi-final, this is good for the game."
However, the successful manager would like to see some rule changes made. "Physical contact should be allowed, the game is becoming much more like hurling now and I would also like to see the rule regarding the dropping of the hurl come to an end," he said.
Whoever takes over from Ryan will have a tall order to follow, as the Premier County will be very determined to maintain their winning pattern and it will also be interesting to see if any of the players call it a day.
Meanwhile, last Friday the Munster Camogie Council launched Mary Moran's Munster Camogie Story in the Ambassador Hotel in Cork, the first publication of the entire history of Munster camogie compiled in one.
Commissioned by Munster Council, the former Cork player, former president and former National PRO has a wealth of knowledge over the years, having already written four previous books.
The book details the many highs and lows of the six Munster counties over the past 100 years since the formation of the first Munster club in Cork in 1905 in the Blarney Street area of the city.
Not only has Moran touched on the intercounty scene but she has also paid much tribute to the second level schools and the huge contribution they made to both Munster and National Camogie over the years.
Munster's Camogie Story is available by calling: 086 3787421.