Offaly hurling manager Kevin Ryan
The Offaly senior hurling manager, Kevin Ryan, has asked for patience in the aftermath of a 6-23 to 1-12 defeat to Galway in Division 1B of the Allianz Hurling League on Sunday. The Faithful men opened their league account with the 26-point defeat at home in front of a disappointing crowd in O'Connor Park, Tullamore, on Sunday afternoon.
In the wake of the defeat, recently installed Offaly boss Kevin Ryan has called for Offaly fans to be patient, asserting that the goals of his team are two or three years down the line. Reiterating the fact that his reign with Offaly is a long-term project, the Waterford native said: “We are trying to focus on down the road. Any of our aims are two or three years away and that’s not good enough for some of the Offaly public, but that’s where it is. You can’t just turn something like that overnight.”
Ryan also said that “there is a gulf in class” between his Offaly side and the 2015 All-Ireland runners-up and recently relegated Galway side who hit them for six on Sunday. "All we can try and do is aspire to get there, whether it takes six months, a year, or six years, it is just aim for that and keep doing what we are doing,” he said, but continued by adding that, “it is going to take a lot of time, it’s about being patient."
Kevin Ryan also pointed toward the lack of big numbers of players willing to play as another issue facing the four-time All-Ireland champions. “To be fair to those lads we have there, they are trying to do the right thing,” Ryan remarked. “You would probably like to see more fellas willing to play. I often said it to the lads themselves that if Waterford looked for 50 to come in in the morning, they’d have 50.
“They’d be queuing up to come in, they are starting to smell success. We struggle to get 30 for a game, that’s the reality of it,” the manager commented. This was Galway’s biggest ever win over Offaly in 39 meetings, and it was all over by halftime as the Tribesmen led by 4-9 to 1-8 having played against a strong wind in the opening 35 minutes.
The opposite dressing room was far happier at fulltime as nine different Galway players put their names on the scoresheet. “It’s good to get started,” said Galway manager Donoghue. “I know the scoreline is emphatic enough but there are still areas, particularly in the second half, that we would like to work on.” Next week is a big one for both teams as Davy Fitzgerald brings his reinvigorated Wexford side to Galway, while Offaly enter into a crunch tie with near neighbours Laois in Portlaoise on Saturday.