Pat Ryan proposed as new Cork hurling manager

Former All-Ireland winner set to ratified on a three-year term on Tuesday night

The search for a new Cork senior hurling manager has already concluded with the proposal of Pat Ryan, just 24 hours after Kieran Kingston decided against seeking another year in charge.

In a statement from Cork GAA on Monday evening, it was announced that the Cork County Executive will propose the appointment of Ryan of the Sarsfields club for ratification at Tuesday night’s County Committee meeting for July in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

A three-year term will be proposed, his selection and backroom to be agreed and named at a later date.

A winner of Munster and All-Ireland senior hurling medals in 1999, Ryan had earlier won Munster and All-Ireland under-21 medals in 1998, as well as a National League medal back in 1997.

Having won two Cork county titles with Sarsfields as a player, in 2008 and 2010, he then managed his home club to further victories in 2012 and 2014.

Ryan previously served as a senior selector and coach under Kingston in 2016 and 2017 before returning as Cork under-20 hurling manager in 2020 and 2021, when he guided the county to Munster and All-Ireland titles in consecutive seasons.

He has also served on various committees over the same period, making a significant contribution to the club championship reforms of recent years.

In welcoming the appointment, Cork GAA chairman, Marc Sheehan said: “We are thrilled to have someone of Pat’s calibre so ready to take up the significant mantle of Cork senior hurling manager. Having seen his management and coaching skills with our teams previously, I have no doubt that the development of our players is in safe hands.”

Cork GAA chief executive officer, Kevin O’Donovan, said: “Pat’s appointment will be another clear example of our desire to provide a pathway to managers and coaches through both club and county systems. His record in both arenas speaks for itself and we look forward to him building on the significant work completed by the outgoing management team in the ongoing pursuit of Liam MacCarthy.”

Word emerged on Sunday that Kingston would not be taking up the offer of another year in the position. Having previously served as selector and coach with his native county under Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Kingston was appointed Cork manager in 2016, serving for two seasons, before stepping away, only to return in 2020.

Cork have a tradition of appointing hurling and football managers from within the county. Despite some suggested names as Davy Fitzgerald, currently serving as Cork camogie coach, and former Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy, Ryan’s pending appointment maintains that tradition.

Kingston’s latest season with Cork ended two weeks ago in disappointment after defeat by Galway in the All-Ireland quarter-final. That followed defeat to Waterford in the league final, on the back of last year’s heavy All-Ireland final defeat to Limerick.

A statement from Cork GAA confirmed the circumstances of Kingston’s decision: “All in Cork GAA wish to sincerely acknowledge Kieran’s years of dedication across a whole range of positions, including the roles of player, selector, coach and of course, manager.

“The incredible contribution of Kieran’s backroom team over the past three years is also acknowledged and while the success that all deserved may not have followed, they can hold their heads high, knowing that they served

Former All-Ireland winning defender Diarmuid O’Sullivan, a selector with Kingston for the last three years, had also expressed his disappointment at the former Cork players who criticised Kingston during his time as manager.

O’Sullivan, who served as a selector under Kingston for the past three years, took to social media to say he was “proud” to have worked alongside him before taking a swipe at the former players who “scrutinised” the outgoing manager in the national media.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics