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Ryan loss would have set Model back - Brosnan

BEN BROSNAN has saluted the decision of Jason Ryan to stay at the Wexford football helm, claiming the team would have been set back two years if their manager had quit.

Ryan was recently linked with a code-hopping switch to the Waterford hurlers, amid rumours that the Deise native could take on the role of manager with former Kilkenny 'keeper James McGarry as coach.

But he has now committed himself to Wexford for a fifth season after meeting with county board officials.

"Great news for Wexford," declared Brosnan, who was yesterday unveiled as their only All Star nominee as well as the 'Footballer of the Month' for May.

"He will be hurting at the way that we went out (this season, controversially to Limerick) so we can all push on together."

Brosnan admitted that he feared Ryan might make the touted Waterford move, adding: "If he didn't stay it could have taken us two years back. We would be looking for a manager and, who knows, he might not have got on as well with the players as Jason has."

The prolific Brosnan only established himself as a championship regular this season, after several years with the squad, and he saluted Ryan's ability to relate with all players, whether they are first-team or fringe.

"His man management skills are like nothing I have ever seen before," he enthused. "No matter if you are number one on the team or number 30, everyone is treated the same.

"I know everyone thinks that I would say that anyway, but that is the way it is. He could ring you at midnight and have a conversation with you for an hour, just to talk about football and see how you are. He does the same to everyone. Everyone just gets on so well with him."

JOE CANNING has been suspended for four weeks and will miss Portumna's Galway SHC quarter-final this weekend after being sent off in their final group game against Athenry two weeks ago. Andy Smith, will also miss the clash with St Thomas' on Sunday for his part in a melee in which four players were sent off. However, both Canning and Smith will be available for the semi-finals should Portumna progress on Sunday. The two Athenry players who were sent off, Diarmuid Cloonan and Shane Donoghue, were also hit with bans but will miss no immediate action as the club failed to qualify for the knock-out stages.