WATCH: Duignan shocked by Kevin Ryan departure

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Offaly hurling legend Michael Duignan has said he is "a bit shocked" by the news that Kevin Ryan has stepped aside as the Offaly hurling boss.

The county is now looking for its third manager in three seasons with Kevin Ryan the latest to vacate the hot-seat after just eight months in charge. 

SEE ALSO: Kevin Ryan steps aside as Offaly hurling manager

The Waterford native cited fears over a lack of support as one of his reasons for stepping away from the set-up, and on RTE's Morning Ireland programme on Tuesday, July 18, Michael Duignan expressed his surprise. 

"The noises Kevin had been making was that he wanted to stay on for a three-year term," Duignan told Darren Frehill. 

"Obviously he has gauged the mood among the players and some other people since the Waterford game and has decided to go," he added.

Duignan went on to suggest that Ryan's comments ahead of the Waterford qualifier clash may have left a "sour taste." "He said that avoiding a slaughtering was the best we could hope for against Waterford. A lot of people felt that was going into a game with the wrong attitude."

Mentioning the fact that the Offaly footballers are now also without a manager, Duignan suggested it was like "one disaster after another."

He said whoever fills the role with the Offaly hurlers will have a tough job and also expressed frustration at the pace of underage development in the county. Asked whether he thought that was being addressed, he sighed and said, "it is a small bit but not as much as I'd like to see."

"We need to work on our schools teams, our minors and U21s to compete at the top level. "We're just not producing the player that's good enough for a top coach to work with," Duignan commented. 

"It's back to the drawing board," he concluded.

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