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Jason Ryan on . . .

"I got married to Suzanne shortly before Clongeen won the county title (in 2007). In September 2008 our daughter Aoibhe came along. Our son Joss was born in October 2009. The children's arrival changed things around.

"Then it eventually became a case of my work-life balance, and the reality was there was no balance. I needed to take a step back."


"I was going to go back playing hurling and football, and I was going to maybe go back and study and do a bit of learning in the sports area. I had started to explore different things.

"In my first club football training session, I ruptured the ACL in my left knee. My rehab is not a priority. Please God, with Kildare I'm going to be busy and my playing season, if there is one, will be when it will be."


"I couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with an All-Ireland winner in Kieran McGeeney.

"There was also the fact that Kildare have a full-time strength and conditioning coach, Julie Davis; in most counties, the fitness coach is part-time.

"Also, it was a chance to experience a new environment in a different role. I think I would have felt like I was taking the easy way out by not getting involved."


"With London it was a great experience playing against teams at inter-county level. It was brilliant. The club scene there is vibrant. It takes off during the summer time. People are really proud of the clubs they're affiliated with and involved in."


"In 2008, 82,000 people attended the Leinster final – more than there was at the All-Ireland final that year. Our bus got stuck in a traffic jam so we were beeping ahead trying to get people to move over to let the bus fit down the side. The Wexford flags were everywhere.

"It was a moving experience seeing what it meant to the people."


"Say you have a 19-year-old that's just done their Leaving Cert, and they're on a freshers team, county U-21 squad, club U-21 squad, they're on a club senior squad, then they're involved with the county seniors as well.

"They have all these masters and for each one of those coaches, their priority is their team – not the individual player. So we talk about burnout.

"They're the players most at risk of burnout and unfortunately you've a crazy congested calendar in the GAA through the colleges, universities competitions, the U-21 football competition and the National Football League all going on at the same time. It's a shame. I don't think we've really addressed that in the GAA."


"The GAA's a bizarre association. It's amateur and yet the level of interest, TV exposure, the number of people that go to the games...

"The fact that it's an ethnic sport and yet it's played worldwide by our emigrants means we have responsibility on our shoulders.

"I played Gaelic football and hurling in Australia, and for people there it's like a religion, going to your pub in Sydney to watch your county playing in the championship.

"Whether you're in Boston or New York or San Francisco or Dubai or wherever it is, you're really proud and you want to watch your team.

"So there's a weight of expectation at home – there's worldwide interest in your county and that's something we should remember."


"Since I got the job in October 2007 with Wexford, I've never looked further ahead than one year. You don't know what's going to happen in your own life or the players' lives. So it's one year at a time and make the most of it.

"I'm 36 and I hope at some stage of my life that I manage an inter-county hurling team. I'd love to do that, but then again I'd love to manage a League of Ireland soccer team. I'm in no great rush but I'd like to try some other things."

Irish Independent