Jason Ryan may stick with watching games from the stand
Kildare manager questions benefits of staying on the sideline for big games at Croke Park
Kildare manager Jason Ryan watches an O’Byrne Cup game from the stand with his selectors Ronan Quinn and Damien Hendy. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.
Jason Ryan is considering watching championship games from the stand this year because he is unsure what immediate impact a manager can have from the sideline on players in a packed Croke Park during the summer.
The Kildare manager spent last season in the upper levels as Kieran McGeeney’s “eye in the sky” when serving as a selector for the Armagh man. Throughout the current O’Byrne Cup campaign he has had his own selectors and stats-compilers alongside him in the stand.
This, he maintains, has been hugely beneficial for a number of reasons, not least that it speeds up decision-making, because all the information and opinions are in the one place.
While he has yet to decide for certain whether it is a practice he will be employing throughout the season, the former Wexford manager maintains that it is worth experimenting with given his belief that the manager can have little influence during major championship games.
“It’s great” says Ryan. “Last year I really enjoyed watching the game. It’s about how much impact do you really have. O’Byrne Cup is to prepare for the league, the league is to prepare for the championship.
“I would question the effectiveness of a manager in GAA, in Croke Park, with 82,000 people shouting and roaring, the management trying to shout on the sideline.
“In my experience at Croke Park as a manager, certainly in the games against Dublin, my selectors couldn’t hear me on the sideline, not to mind me trying to shout onto the pitch, so you just have to wonder what’s effective and what’s not.”