New boss Ryan hoping Roscommon can mix’ it with Galway!

Seamus Duke  Roscommon U-21 team manager Michael Ryan has agreed to manage the Roscommon senior football team for the championship campaign of 2008. The Roscommon Gaels man takes over from Paul Earley who managed the team in their final two league games following the resignation of John Maughan.    At just 30 years of age Ryan becomes one of the youngest (if not the youngest) senior intercounty managers in the country. He will definitely have Donal Casserly as one of his selectors and he will be adding at least one more selector to that backroom team shortly.   Speaking to People Sport on Tuesday, ‘Mixer’ was under no illusions as to the task facing him. ‘I know that I am stepping up from anything I have done before but I am really looking forward to the challenge. Who wouldn’t be looking forward to playing Galway in the Connacht Championship in Pearse Stadium?’ he said.   ‘I know all the players very well and I have got to know all the U-21 players really well in recent months. They are all great lads. I don’t think I’ll have any problems because of my age at all. I am really looking forward to the preparations for the big game on May 18th’ he said.     ‘We will probably only play one challenge game prior to the Galway match. We have a number of players injured and we have to try and get as many of them back for the Galway match as we can’ said Mike, who added that all the players on the panel who are fit will be playing with their clubs this weekend.    ‘I am looking forward to meeting with the players this week and our whole focus will be on the Galway game from then on. I know that there is a good spirit among the lads and the win last Sunday against Cavan was important  too. It will be a very busy few weeks but it’s a challenge that we are all looking forward to. I used to love playing Galway when I was a player. It’s a really tough prospect but I can tell you when we get to Pearse Stadium on May the 18th we will expect to do well’ he concluded.   Michael takes over from Paul Earley who completed his two-match spell in charge with a one-point win over Cavan at Hyde Park last Sunday (see report inside).   There was also a winning start for Gary Wynne’s minor team against Leitrim at Carrick-on-Shannon last weekend. On this Saturday the team play Sligo at Hyde Park and a win or a draw will see them progress to the next stage of the championship.