THE Limerick senior hurlers are on a two-week break from inter-county training - due to two rounds of games in the Limerick hurling club championships.
Despite playing Tipperary in the Munster Championship on June 1, TJ Ryan’s Limerick won’t train again until May 12.
New manager Ryan has explained that break from collective training was planned and agreed from the outset of the season.
“Every county will have club championship and that’s the way and it’s part of the calendar - it was planned and in the calendar,” explained Ryan.
The week Limerick return to training they are hoping to play Dublin in one final challenge game ahead of the Munster SHC title defence.
The Garryspillane man has also confirmed that he will not be adding a hurling coach to his management.
Last week after the shock departure of Donal O’Grady as joint-manager and coach, a Limerick GAA statement said that “the chairman, secretary and treasurer in consultation with the team management would identify and appoint a hurling coach as a priority”.
However Ryan has now said he will not avail of that option.
“There won’t be a coach,” he said of the expected new appointment.
“With three weeks to go, basically myself and Paul Beary (selector) will be handling it. Paul Beary has handled Na Piarsaigh for two county championships and two Munster clubs and is well capable and is going to help me with the coaching for the next couple of weeks,” explained Ryan after Saturday’s challenge game defeat to Cork.
“We have to put it behind us,” said Ryan of the turbulent week.
“Absolutely”, was his response when asked if he was staying on as manager for the fast approaching Munster Championship.
“At the start of the season I was delighted to work with Donal and I would much prefer to have Donal with me, I think he is a top class coach, but what has happened is regrettable and it is what it is and I have to try and do my best for Limerick hurling and these lads,” said Ryan after the 3-20 to 3-17 defeat to Cork.
“I thought that was a positive performance - we scored 3-17, which is obviously good. The negative is that we didn’t win the game - we had a lot of wides. I thought we played well and from my point of view to see Seamus Hickey and Declan Hannon back is a huge plus. We are going to focus on the positives - I thought the performance was good, we moved the ball quite well at times and we created a lot of opportunities but the disappointing thing was we didn’t win the game,” said Ryan.
The manager praised his players for not losing focus during Limerick hurling’s latest turmoil.
“The lads have been brilliant all week and their response has been good and I am happy with that.
“Training went well on Tuesday and Thursday and we don’t really have any other choice here we have to drive on with championship around the corner and Tipp had a great win in their league semi-final and are looking forward to a league final.”