Saturday 25 November 2017

Ryan returns for Treaty as Cunningham joins backroom

James Ryan will add experience to the Limerick squad Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
James Ryan will add experience to the Limerick squad Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Michael Verney

James Ryan has given Limerick hurling boss John Kiely a timely boost ahead of their bid for promotion from Allianz Division 1B by committing for another season.

Ryan (above), a former Treaty dual star, was excluded from Kiely's initial 39-man winter training squad as the versatile Garryspillane clubman mulled over his future, but he has decided to throw his lot in for 2017.

The 29-year-old, who made his debut in 2008, was man-of the match in Limerick's famous 2013 Munster final win and adds valuable experience and physicality to a young squad littered with 2015 All-Ireland U-21 medal winners.

Kiely's star-studded backroom team, which includes coaching guru Paul Kinnerk, has also been significantly bolstered by the arrival of Clare's Alan Cunningham, who will work as goalkeeping coach.

Cunningham boasts an impressive CV, having helped Na Piarsaigh to their first All-Ireland club SHC title last March; the Wolfe Tones clubman has inter-county coaching experience having worked with Clare, under both Anthony Daly and Mike McNamara, and Offaly, under Ollie Baker.


His new Treaty role could cause some family tension, however, with his son Aaron an important part of Gerry O'Connor and Donal Moloney's Clare squad who face Limerick in the Munster semi-final on June 4.

Cunningham will also remain involved with Na Piarsaigh for 2017 as Shane O'Neill's side bid to bounce back from their disappointing All-Ireland reign, which saw them fail to progress from the group stages of the Limerick SHC.

Elsewhere, Michael Murphy will not miss any of Donegal's League campaign despite travelling to France to try his hand at rugby with French side Clermont Auvergne later this month.

Murphy will join up with Top 14 side as part of The Toughest Trade but manager Rory Gallagher insists he will still be available for their Division 1 opener against Kerry on February 5.

Meanwhile, Royal County legend Darren Fay will take the reins at Moynalvey for their 2017 Meath SFC campaign.

Former Offaly All-Ireland winner Aidan Fogarty has committed to Kilkenny SHC champions O'Loughlin Gaels for a fifth year as the city side, beaten by Cuala in this year's Leinster final, aim to become the first team to retain their county crown in 10 years.

Irish Independent

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