Thursday 19 April 2018

Michael Ryan vows to manage victory 'a lot better than we have in the past'

Ryan: Determined to build on victory. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ryan: Determined to build on victory. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

All around him the delirium is still washing over Tipperary faithful assembled in the team hotel, and Michael Ryan is happy just to sit back and take it all in.

It's early morning and the usual post All-Ireland final feel is taking a hold of the place. Some of his team have taken up a pew at the bar. Others are gathering for the bus that will head for the children's hospital.

More are posing with the cup and the seemingly endless line of babies thrust into their arms for photographs. Celebrations are in full swing.

This will continue for days and weeks. And why wouldn't it? But Ryan knows Tipp haven't dealt with success well before.

Ensuring they don't have to wait another six years to feel like this again is already on his mind.

"This group are mature," he explained. "The example and leadership coming from those guys is second to none, it really is. They wanted this so badly for Tipperary, and it showed in their play.

"That's our job. We are going to have to refocus. We will certainly keep our feet on the ground. We are renowned in Tipp for getting carried away with ourselves when we win - we'll see how we get on with that.

"The backroom team we have are very, very strong people, very mature people.

"I think we've learned a lot of hard lessons over the years that we need to manage victory a lot better than we have done."

Ryan has been involved for seven seasons with this squad and in the next few weeks he hopes to sit down with his management team and make sure they remain en masse before planning for the new season starts in earnest. That's for down the line, however. For now, it's all about drinking the thing in.

"It's still a bit surreal," he said. "Genuinely. It's such a big thing for us in Tipperary and I know it's the old proverb, what's seldom is wonderful. You put so much into it. It's something we hold very dearly in Tipp.

"It's so hard to get there, Kilkenny have been so dominant over all of the counties over the last decade. It's great, it's super, it'll take a few days to settle in."

When they get back to work over the winter, they'll have to adjust to their new place in the hurling world. And while they had plenty in hand over Kilkenny on Sunday, Ryan expects the Cats to roar back in 2017. 

"I know the Kilkenny scene quite well, I worked down there for three or four years, made a lot of good friends down there," he said.

"The hurling in Kilkenny is stronger than in any other county, that is the simple fact of the matter. Really strong clubs are in the city, with the exception of Ballyhale. There's St Kieran's College, Kilkenny CBS. . .

"Nobody should be writing an epitaph or (predicting) a changing of the guard for Kilkenny. It won't happen."

Irish Independent

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