Quinlivan hopes new recruit Ryan can make a big impact with Tipp
By John Harrington
Michael Quinlivan believes the addition of former Dublin forward, Philip Ryan, to the Tipperary panel is a big addition for the Premier County ahead of their 2021 League and Championship campaigns.
St. Brigid’s club-man Ryan played at full-forward on the Dublin All-Ireland U-21 winning team in 2012, and then was a member of the senior panel that defeated Kerry in the 2015 All-Ireland Final.
Ryan has Tipperary lineage – he’s a nephew of 1971 All-Ireland SHC winner, Dinny Ryan.
A classy left-footed player with an eye for a score, he’ll add another string to Tipperary’s attacking bow this year.
“He’s a really, really good player, he can get on the ball, he can take his own score,” says Quinlivan of Ryan
“Hopefully he’ll be a big addition to us this year and hopefully going forward, as well. The one thing I would say about him is that he’s fitted in seamlessly enough and is definitely part of the group already, which is the big thing.
“He obviously has experience of winning two All-Irelands which is invaluable as well. Hopefully he comes down, settles in, and can play some really good football for us.
“We've seen it across the board in a lot of other counties. You see Conor Cox doing it up in Roscommon and hopefully he can have the same impact for us.”
Ryan may well prove to be a valuable addition to the Tipperary panel, but they’re going to have to do without dynamic midfielder, Liam Casey, who has opted out for the 2021 season.
“I think Liam is planning to go away,” said Quinlivan.
“I'm not 100 per cent sure when he's planning to go but I think he had informed the management last year that it was his intention and I think everyone knew it was coming. He'll be a loss given he as very good for us last year.
“He had a huge Munster Final for us, especially, with a couple of very big points. Even especially towards the end of the League when we needed a couple of victories he got a big goal up in Laois when we needed it too.
“But it is natural, it happens most years with us. We tend to just keep rolling on. We've lost a lot over the last number of years but we still keep going.”
Tipperary will also be without the long-serving Philip Austin who recently announced his retirement after 15 seasons in the blue and gold.
“I was genuinely sad when I heard the news that he was stepping away,” says Quinlivan.
“He was someone I looked up to massively when I joined the panel. I would have gotten pretty close to him over a number of years that we got to play together. I was fortunate enough to have been away with him multiple times and that I get to call him a friend.
“He's a brilliant person to have around the dressing-room, was unbelievable with younger guys coming in, just making them feel at home.
“And his impact on the field was incredible. Maybe the last couple of years he was struggling a little bit with injuries but you see him on the big day against Cork he comes off the bench and kicks a big point when we really needed it. He'll be sorely, sorely, missed, but, look, 15 years is some innings as well. And he owes that jersey nothing.
“I think he said it himself, he feels like it's in a much better place than when he first started off.”
Tipperary manager, David Power, has made a notable addition to his backroom team in the shape of the Premier County’s greatest ever footballer, Declan Browne.
According to Quinlivan, the two-time All-Star has already made a positive impact on the group.
He’s ridiculous,” says Quinlivan. “He’s so good. He still has...like, I honestly reckon you could put him in corner forward and he’d still do a job.
“Just the small things that he does, he’s not trying to tell you exactly what to do, it’s only very small little pearls of wisdom.
“Little things for even kicking in the ball, where exactly to put it, that sort of thing. He has been a breath of fresh air around the place and I’ve really enjoyed learning off him.
“He knows where to be and what positions to take up. He understands both sides of the game and he has certainly been a big benefit to us since he came in.”