Pat Ryan ticks many of the right boxes for Cork

Pat Ryan ticks many of the right boxes for Cork

Pat Ryan Cork senior hurling manager

On Sunday evening, not long after Cork GAA issued a statement, informing us that Kieran Kingston would not be seeking a further term as Cork hurling manager, an individual got in touch, wanting to know, who did yours truly, think would be the next manager.

If the egotistical inner self wished to gloat, I probably would have mentioned silently: “It’s a long way from footing turf in Direendaragh in South Kerry to be viewed as a person who may be in the know as who the next Cork hurling manager would be.” After all, it has been described as the one of the biggest jobs in hurling!

Prior to getting a chance to issuing some form of a reply, the gentleman threw in his own tuppence with a rhetorical question. “Who in their right mind would want it?” It could be well argued that, it was a question of serious value!!

Just in case some of you who visit this page may be sidetracked by the position being described as huge job, please be informed that this is a voluntary position, (unless you are an outsider) where the only real guarantee is a whole pile of abuse directed from the great fans or indirectly through the various media platforms.

You can be rest assured that if Kilkenny had failed to defeat Clare in last Saturday’s quarter final, the life of Brian would have to the deal with visitation from from the sharp knife wielders!! Abuse is just an integral attachment for team bainisteoirí.

Also it is just so amazing, how the narrative can change. A few weeks ago, if Brian Lohan and his coach Seán Treacy had indicated that they were willing to try their hand at ending the 19-year famine, I am sure that Elton Seán could be convinced to put on another Pairc Uí Chaoimh ensemble to fund the appointment. In the light of Clare’s two recent showings against Wexford and Kilkenny from the “weaker province” the two would now be lucky to get an interview for the Belgooly job!! If that became vacant.

Was the column that surprised with last Sunday evening’s announcement? Not really, ever since the newspaper article mentioning a 12-month extension being granted appeared, doubts began to surface.

Former Cork manager Kieran Kingston before the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 4 match between Waterford and Cork at Walsh Park in Waterford. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Former Cork manager Kieran Kingston before the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 4 match between Waterford and Cork at Walsh Park in Waterford. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

I don’t know Kieran Kingston but all the evidence would suggest that he is one decent individual who has devoted a large modicum of his life volunteering at Tracton, Douglas and Cork. As regards Cork alone, he has been involved in seven out of the past 10 years, either as a selector, coach or manager. I think very few of us realise, the incredible amount of time that he has invested.

Can one ask, was he a successful manager? We could, if one had any idea of what the success indicators were. Winning an All-Ireland, really? Jack O’Connor has won a few, but if his CV was judged by his time in Kildare, where would he rank? What we can say about the Tracton native is that he departs the scene leaving behind a team that I would contend has the potential to be the best in the land?

Now, the least, that the red media in all its forms would have expected is a period of mourning in the aftermath of the Tracton man’s departure. This modicum of time would utilised to pay homage and would be expected to capture the sentiment that Kieran Kingston owes Cork hurling nothing. Also during this interval of donning the dark clothes, various media vacuums would be filled with speculation as to who should be fitted with one of the most sought after bainisteoir uniforms in the country.

Not alone would it be welcome fodder for the media brethren, it would add to the positive mental health of the county and beyond. Just think about the amount of conversation at every talking clinic in the country from social outlets to religious gatherings and all points in between. How many times have we be reminded of benefit of talking.

But no, the Cork GAA executive had to ruin it for all of us, by announcing to the world on Monday evening that they had their man.

Was their any consideration given to the outside movement who wanted Davy Fitzgerald, Liam Sheedy or some other perceived genius coming in and departing with a handy stash of red cash. Obviously none whatsoever!!

What about codal equality, you do remember that when a vacancy arose in relation to the big football job, the appointments commission advertised the position. The three who applied had to attend interviews which involved a discussion around their supporting background staff. This was serious stuff!!

Not on this occasion, the ideal man was interested, willing and able. Some coup. Yes Pat Ryan was mentioned in the past but there were some question marks about his availability. He arrives on with an impressive CV guiding his club Sars to County titles as well as leading Cork to successive U20 captures

Again, this scribe doesn’t know Pat Ryan on a personal level but in all conversations where his name has featured, he ticks so many positive boxes. We wish him well.

If we could use an educational analogy, Cork Executive have appointed an excellent principal, the next task to be undertaken by them and the Sars man is to appoint an equally excellent supporting staff. As with the manager, our hope would be, that locals would fill these positions as well. It was some 24 hours of activity. The Cork GAA brand has delivered big time. Massive well done to their appointments commission on this occasion.

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