Ryan's successor will face a tough job in Tipp - Stakelum
Whoever the new Tipperary manager will be, it won't be Richie Stakelum.
The former Munster SHC-winning captain, who served as a selector under Anthony Daly during his Dublin reign, was one of several names to be linked to the post but he was quick to withdraw from the running in Croke Park yesterday, citing time commitments and his role with Kilmacud Crokes' senior hurlers, where he has teamed up with Daly once more.
"It's a lovely fanciful notion but no, not at this stage," Stakelum said. "The time-commitment and I just wouldn't be able to do it with the work schedule I have. I'm involved with Anthony in Crokes and that's tough enough to even get the time at club level. An inter-county job is a full-time job. It must be really difficult to hold down a very demanding job, which I have. I couldn't do inter-county management."
And he believes that the man who replaces Michael Ryan will have a big job on his hands. After a summer that saw them fail to progress from the group stage of the Munster championship, Stakelum believes Tipp need both an injection of new talent as well as a rejuvenation of some of their older players.
"When you look at Paudie Maher, Brendan Maher, (Seamus) Callanan, these guys are around a long time and have played a huge amount of the big games," Stakelum said at the launch of the 46th running of the Beacon Hospital Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland Hurling 7s competition which will take place on August 18.
"Themselves and Kilkenny jousted for years and I think there are only so many times you can go to the well and the team to me looked a bit jaded.
"The challenge now is what is coming underneath, we haven't seen a huge infusion of talent and whoever comes in will have to do that and blood players because Brendan Maher has his cruciate ligament injury, Callanan struggled with his back so a lot of those players have a lot of miles on the clock."
Tipperary might not have expected themselves to be in this position after Ryan agreed to remain in charge until the end of the 2020 campaign. However, Stakelum, whose brother Conor was part of Ryan's management team, wasn't surprised that he opted out given the demands of the job and the expectation within the county.
"I wasn't really (surprised) Mick Ryan has been involved for what, ten years with three different management teams? And the last couple of years could have been very wearing as a manager.
"Not alone was he a selector but then he went in straight in as manager. And there's huge expectation in Tipp all the time and some of it not always well founded but there is huge expectation and I'd say he just had enough of it so I wasn't surprised. And I wasn't surprised that when he went all the management team decided to go with him also."
"I think that Michael would have felt that. You know what after ten years a lot of players and grown up with him. A lot of Tipp's big marquee players have a lot games played now, - the Paudie Mahers and these guys - so I'd say he said for himself and the betterment of the team they are probably better off with a fresh voice."
Stakelum thinks the race for Liam MacCarthy will be wide open in 2019 but wants to see more young players given their opportunity for the Premier.
"There are about seven teams that can win the All-Ireland. It's ironic the width of a post caught them against Clare and the width of a post did Clare last weekend. I still think looking at the Tipp team the zest and zip I just didn't see that. A lot of their big players just looked that bit tired, this new format doesn't necessarily suit players like Paudie Maher who is playing with Thurles Sarsfields all the way into the winter again and that's probably likely this year again so it is hugely attritional on older players.
"I think they (the younger lads) have talent but we haven't seen a lot of it introduced. Jake Morris came in and played a few games and they have guys in the backs that didn't necessarily burn it up at underage level. So there is a concern that the next wave, are they going to be as good as the wave that brought Brendan and Bonner and those guys at that time? It remains to be seen."
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