TALLOW'S Tommy Ryan who has featured regularly with Waterford senior hurlers in recent seasons, has been named as the new coach of Russell Rovers' intermediate hurlers.
The 31-year-old school teacher is joined by manager Seamus Kennefick and selector Ian Smiddy in what is a totally new backroom team.
The trio will hope to follow in the footsteps of Michael Mannion, Noel Furlong and Eoin Ivers who enjoyed a glorious few years in the limelight as they led Rovers to divisional, county and Munster titles before losing out in the All-Ireland final.
The momentum was firmly carried on as the Shanagarry based club qualified for the County Lower Intermediate final, in their first season out of the junior grade. That decider against Castlemartyr is one of the finals held over from 2020.
It now appears that the new management will be at the helm for the fixture, scheduled for mid-summer. Noel Furlong has since taken over the Cork minor hurling position.
Whoever wins that final will gain promotion, but the losers will face a tough season. All bar the winners of the 2021 Lower Intermediate grade are set for relegation to junior.
Ryan was in the Déise starting 15 that lost to Cork in the 2019 Munster Championship game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Earlier that season he hit four goals in Waterford's first four league games of that campaign.
Ryan came to prominence on the Waterford team that lost the 2009 Munster U21 final to Clare, having made his senior league debut in the springtime.
Russell Rovers are progressing plans for some significant development at their home ground. A major upgrade of their dressing rooms and the addition of an astroturf training pitch are key points in the makeover.
It continues the real momentum which the club has built over the past few years, the launching pad was the great success of the hurling team on the field of play. The forthcoming intermediate decider will be the club's third successive county final.
Adding to the feel-good factor has been the success of St Colman's, the underage wing of the club, which is an amalgamation with neighbours Cloyne.
The mood was certainly buoyant at their recent virtual AGM, where members reflected back on a wonderful triumph for the club in the Rebel Óg Premier 2 Minor Hurling final last autumn.
With an ever-growing number of players, there are plenty of reasons to suggest that St Colman's has a bright future to look forward to over the next few years.