JASON RYAN HAS turned down the opportunity to become the next Waterford senior football manager after approaches were made by Déise county board officials to entice the former Wexford manager to the post.
Local radio station WLR were informed by county board chairman Tom Cunningham today that Ryan would not be accepting the position that became vacant when John Owens brought his three-year tenure to a close earlier this season. Ryan, who featured for the Waterford senior footballers in the 2007 Munster championship, recently stepped down as supremo in the Model County after a five year stint in charge.
Ryan, speaking last Saturday on Newstalk Radio, explained his reasons for not taking the role when the topic came up as part of a sports discussion panel featuring TheScore.ie’s Gaelic Football analyst Conor Deegan and Dublin senior footballer Ger Brennan.
“With the Waterford lads, right now it’s not just about managing the team, you’re trying to restructure the whole thing. John Owens worked very, very hard but a number of those players have retired. There’s just no players at all coming through from minor and U21. A lot of the players are more interested, I think anyway, in being some way involved with the senior hurling panel than actually playing on the senior football team.
“Right now if it was a case that I had the energy to do something like that, I would have stayed with Wexford because I already know the players, I’m familiar with the surroundings and I’m familiar with the club setup, that I don’t think it would be as much of a mental drain as the Waterford would be. So Jason Ryan definitely won’t be involved with the Waterford senior footballers in 2013.”
Ryan also admitted on the same programme that leaving Wexford was a difficult decision.
“I made the decision two years ago that it was my last year. The debate is when is the right time to go. In Wexford if we’d won Leinster, it would have been just fabulous for the group and the county. It didn’t happen. It was a tough decision because I still believe the players are capable of being competitive in another Leinster championship.
“Who knows then if you’re to get to a Leinster final what could happen. It does feel like unfinished business. But it’s case of recharge the batteries, learn more and then hopefully if another opportunity arises to work with another group, do it. At some stage I’d love to manage a hurling team or even a soccer team. Part of me would love to try other sports.”