BY TOM LYONS
IF the Carbery senior hurling team is to survive then all the clubs in the division must give their support to the team – that’s the message from manager Jerry Ryan in the wake of the 29-point SHC Round 2B loss to Ballymartle last Friday night.
Ryan has no illusions about the size of the task that faces the new Carbery hurling manager as he contemplates stepping down after three years in the hot seat.
‘I have three years done as Carbery hurling manager and I think I have had my share of frustrations in this job,’ Ryan told The Southern Star.
‘There are lots of tough jobs out there and being manager of the Carbery hurling team must be one of them. It’s frustrating knowing there’s hurling talent in the division but we can’t get it out on the pitch for Carbery.’
Ryan knows that if Carbery hope to put a successful hurling team on the pitch the drive must come from the clubs within the division, who must support the South West Board in the plans.
‘If there’s to be a future for Carbery hurling all the hurling clubs in the division, and the hurling managers, must come together and put a proper structure in place. Otherwise it’s a waste of time,’ Ryan said.
‘You can’t just put out a team on the night and hope to put in a performance and get a result. The players must also buy into the whole thing and you must have your best 15 on the field. That hasn’t been happening.’
While Ryan is aware that there is a gap in standards between Carbery hurling and the top teams in senior, he is also adamant that there is a mental problem as regards Carbery hurling.
‘We didn’t look up to standard at all (on Friday night) but sometimes the standard is a mental thing as well as a physical thing,’ he said.
‘When we made a few mistakes and were punished for them, mentally the heads went down. It’s very hard for a divisional side because the spirit of a club team isn’t there. It’s a pity.
‘I have a great grá for Carbery hurling. Imokilly and Avondhu have put in a big effort and proved there is a place for divisions in the championship. Priority is given in those divisions to prepare.’
The solution to Carbery’s hurling problems lies mostly with the clubs but all parties must play their part if there is to be an improvement.
‘The clubs need to buy into whatever plan you adopt,’ Ryan said.
‘Some lads here (on Friday night) have played league games with their clubs this week. The South West Board must get its fixtures in as there is pressure from higher up as regards deadlines. It’s nobody’s fault and everybody’s fault. Every club has its own agenda, every manager has his own agenda. When I’m involved with a club team I have my own agenda and won’t worry about Carbery.
‘You can’t pin the fault on anybody really. It’s a combination of players, clubs, South West Board, county board, managers, officers, everybody. Unless you get them all pulling together, it’s going to be a frustrating job and I honestly can’t see the day coming when we do manage to get everybody on board.’