'The time is right for a change of direction' - Surprise in Tipperary as Michael Ryan steps down as manager
TIPPERARY are on the hunt for a new senior hurling management team after the surprise announcement this evening from Michael Ryan and his selectors that they are stepping down en masse.
It had been expected that Ryan would continue into a fourth season despite Tipperary’s early exit from this year’s Championship and the rumour mill in recent weeks suggested that former manager Eamonn O’Shea may come back on board in some capacity.
Ryan was first part of the Tipperary management setup in 2007, when he was a selector under Liam Sheedy.
Later, he worked under O’Shea between 2012 and ’14 in the role of assistant manager before taking over the main job after the conclusion of the 2015 season.
In 2016, at the first time of asking, Ryan led Tipperary to Liam MacCarthy success - their last All-Ireland win - but the Premier failed to make it to either the Munter final or this year’s All-Ireland series.
In a joint-statement on behalf of the management team, they explained the reason behind their decision:
"On behalf of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Management team we wish to confirm that we are stepping down from our roles with immediate effect. Having carefully considered what is in the best interest of Tipperary hurling and our current crop of players we believe the time is now right for a change of direction at Management level. It is our hope that a change in management will bring fresh new thinking to ensure Tipperary continues to compete for top honours in the coming years.
"We wish to sincerely thank the Tipperary County Board and its Officers for giving us the opportunity 3 years ago to take on the Management of the Senior Hurling Team. We enjoyed some fantastic days and endured some equally disappointing defeats which are all part and parcel of sport at every level. It has been a great honour and privilege for each of us to have been entrusted with these roles.
"Our backroom team have been key to preparing our players over the last 3 years and we have been exceptionally well served by a fully committed team who did everything within their power to help our players.
We would especially like to acknowledge and thank the Tipperary public who have been fantastic supporters through thick and thin during our Management term. We wish we could have delivered more success particularly this year with the new hurling structures and fantastic hurling that has been played in this year’s Championship.
"And finally we wish to thank the players who have worked tirelessly with us and given their all for Tipperary. These are extraordinary young men whose passion and commitment for our game has made working with them so enjoyable and rewarding for us every single night we trained or played our game. We wish the players, the new Management and backroom team every success for 2019 and beyond as we re-join the Tipperary supporters in Semple Stadium and around the country encouraging our players to great victories again."