By Ger McCarthy
NOLLAIG Cleary believes Eamonn Ryan is going to have a major impact on the new Cork senior football setup after agreeing to join Peadar Healy’s backroom team for the coming season.
Ryan’s decision to take up an offer from new Cork manager Peadar Healy brings the curtain down on a decade of dominance in charge of the Cork ladies’ footballers.
Ten All-Ireland victories in 11 years is a phenomenal achievement and Healy has made another astute move in his new tenure as Cork senior football coach by adding such a well-respected figure to his back-room team.
Nine-time All-Ireland champion Nollaig Cleary knows all about Ryan’s credentials both as a tactician and motivator and believes her former manager will be a big success in his new role.
‘Obviously I was very disappointed to hear that Eamonn was leaving because of the tremendous amount of work he has put in over the last number of years,’ Cleary told The Southern Star.
‘Everyone involved in the Cork (ladies) setup wishes him the best of luck in his new venture and I’m certain he is going to make a big impact working alongside Peadar Healy.
‘Eamonn is an unbelievable coach and it is very difficult to describe just how good he is to people outside of the group he has worked with for over a decade now.
‘It wasn’t one thing in particular with Eamonn but he always commanded huge respect from his players and we always played our hearts out for him.’
Ryan played a key role in nurturing the Gabriel Rangers forward and her teammates’ skill-set during his time in charge of the all-conquering inter-county team. Cleary believes that her former manager’s ability to enhance an individual player’s talents is going to have a big impact on the men’s senior setup.
‘On a personal level, I knew I still had a huge amount to learn when I first got on to the Cork panel,’ admitted the former All-Star ladies’ footballer.
‘Eamonn picked up on the skills that I needed to develop and immediately pin-pointed where I could improve. He did that with every single one of his players and got them to improve on certain aspects of their game which in turn improved the whole team.
‘I always marvelled at the amount of thought and preparation he put into his training sessions not to mention our matches. It was unbelievable. Everything we did with Eamonn was always simplified too, mastering our skills was the most important thing to him and I think the Cork seniors are going to benefit greatly from that.
‘Cork ladies football is lucky in that there has been success at underage level over the past number of years so there should be plenty of talent coming through for whoever takes over from Eamonn. That’s still no guarantee of future success and it is going to be very difficult to try and maintain the momentum of the past number of years.
‘A lot of hard work needs to be put in but there is enough up and coming talent there for whoever takes over to make a go of it and be successful in the future.’