Pat Ryan's new Cork hurling backroom team is revealed

Stepping up from the U20 role, Ryan have called on the backroom team that helped him win two All-Ireland titles
Pat Ryan's new Cork hurling backroom team is revealed

Cork manager Pat Ryan and selector Donal O'Mahony during the 2020 All-Ireland U20 final win over Dublin in July of last year. O'Mahony will be one of Ryan's selectors at senior level. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

NEW Cork hurling manager Pat Ryan will be assisted by the men who helped him guide the county to two All-Ireland U20 hurling titles in the space of six weeks last year.

During his two seasons in charge of the U20 side, Sarsfields man Ryan had Fergal Condon (Aghada), Brendan Coleman (Youghal), Wayne Sherlock (Blackrock) and Donal O’Mahony (Bishopstown) as his selectors and they will also be in the dugout as he takes over the senior squad for 2023, having been confirmed at Tuesday night's county board meeting.

In addition, Waterford native Donal O’Rourke – who played with Ryan for Sars for three years and was part of the Galway set-up that won the 2021 All-Ireland camogie title as well as coaching Erin’s Own – will be involved in a coaching role.

With Donal O'Mahony having served as U20 manager this year, a process will now be put in place to find his replacement.

Ryan is delighted to be surrounded by people with whom he is familiar.

“Obviously, I’m used to the lads and they’re used to me from the 20s and that was something I felt was important,” he said.


“Loyalty would be a big thing for me and I know that I can trust all of these guys.  Donal O’Rourke played for Sars for a few years until work commitments brought him back to Waterford again but he has built up a good coaching track record and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Ryan led Sars to county SHC titles in 2012 and 2014 before enjoying success with the U20 sides. Even in the space of a decade, he feels hurling has evolved a lot.

“The game has changed hugely, I think we can all see that,” he says.

“For the better? I’m not too sure, but it’s definitely changed. 

It’s still a fantastic game, there are probably some aspects that I would prefer weren’t in the game, but I think we’ve been slow in Cork to move to what’s needed.

“That’s no criticism of anyone else, I think it’s everyone – the players, the management teams, the public, myself. I’m in a different place now to where I was a few years ago in terms of how to play the game.

“We’d be very traditional in Cork about how we want to play the game and around the values that we have on that side of it, but I think the game has changed hugely and we need to adapt to that if we want to be successful.

“In terms of physicality, in terms of professionalism, in terms of maybe being a bit naïve at times or in terms of maybe being a bit cynical at times, in terms of how forwards work and how we defend. I think it’s multi-faceted in terms of the areas we need to develop.

“I’d have been very much of the traditional mindset previously, but I think we need to change now in terms of the way we want to play the game.”

  • See tomorrow's Echo for a full-length interview with Pat Ryan

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