New GAA boss has a big job of work

You can't change the world overnight and when anyone takes a new role you have to give them some breathing space to get their head around the challenges of the position and draft a roadmap for the future.

That's where Carlow man Tom Ryan finds himself this week. Unless you gave up social media for Lent, you will be aware that he is the new GAA Director General.

The 48 year-old father of three joined the GAA from Brown Thomas in 2007 and has served the Association as Director of Finance for the past 11 years.

In that position he has played a central role in overseeing the prudent management of the GAA’s finances and has been instrumental in the many of the Association’s major infrastructural projects and helping to steer the Association through the economic downturn.

The new GAA DG  has had a lengthy involvement with the GAA in his native county and is an active member and current Treasurer of Faughs GAA Club in Templeogue in Dublin.

He becomes the 19th Secretary General/Director General since the foundation of the organisation and only the fifth since 1929 and is the first Carlow man to fill the role. 

He must have had to share a vision with the interviewing panel already in regard to how he is going to move the Association forward and there are many topics that will challenge his time.

The issue of club fixtures, their timing and streamlining seems to have bedevilled Ireland's largest sporting organisation for most of the modern age and with him literally coming to terms with his new job comes another curveball.

Waterford senior football manager Tom McGlinchey leading the charge over how the Allianz League finished.

'A Statement released by the GAA to say that because there wasn't agreement on fixtures and they are due to be finalised by 31 March so the remaining 3 League games in Division 4 are to be declared Null & Void!!' has him seething.

'There is no mention that the 4 counties involved have come up with agreeable dates after the club games to assist in getting the league finished.' wrote the Corkman who accused the GAA hierarchy of 'showing total disrespect and disregard for the lower division teams.'

'It worries me the direction my organization (GAA) is taking and it really is heading towards looking after the elite. This is something I feel strongly about and if I stay silent then nothing will happen. I know the other managers feel the same way. Anyway we now turn our attention to the championship and put on our rose tinted glasses to look forward to the "Super 8's" (or should that be "Elite Eights")!!'

No such thing as a honeymoon period in Croke Park. Over to you Mr. Ryan!