Pat Ryan won’t be the new Waterford senior hurling manager despite speaking to some of the 2018 panel last week.
Work and family commitments are understood to have prevented the 42-year-old from taking over from Derek McGrath, who stepped down last month. The Sarsfields man was heavily fancied for the role and he had the backing of members of the Waterford executive with bookmakers suspending betting on him being appointed after a flurry of bets.
A meeting with a delegation of players is also believed to have gone well but Ryan can’t give the dedication that is required. Where next is the question for the board as they now must re-commence their search for a manager to step into McGrath’s shoes.
Former Cork and Limerick boss John Allen has been recently mentioned in dispatches as has Irish Examiner columnist Anthony Daly although the ex-Clare and Dublin manager distanced himself from such speculation last month.
There would seem to be a determination to appoint Waterford’s first outside manager since Davy Fitzgerald in 2011. However, Fitzgerald’s current Wexford selector Páraic Fanning has been mentioned as a potential candidate. Mount Sion man Fanning also worked under Fitzgerald when he was in charge of the Déise.
Brendan Cummins had been initially linked with the role although that association has since cooled. Dónal Óg Cusack could come into the frame either with Allen or on his own while Cuala’s back-to-back All-Ireland senior club winning manager Mattie Kenny has attracted interest from a number of counties.
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald has not yet committed to Wexford for a third year but there are some indications he is prepared to remain on at the helm. Wexford retained their Division 1 status, but lost heavily to Clare in an All-Ireland quarter-final.
By John Fogarty
GAA Correspondent Irish Examiner