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Antrim Manager Says His Side Will Get A 'Massive Hiding' In U21 Semi-Final

Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly

In the build up to an All Ireland semi-final it's rare an interview with one of the managers will throw up anything other than usual clichés about 'hunger' and 'giving it our all'. Well you can throw that right out the window as far as Antrim hurling boss Kevin Ryan is concerned.

The Waterford native is in charge of both the senior and u21 teams in Antrim and ahead of this weekend's All Ireland u21 semi-final against Wexford he has sensationally claimed that his team will be on the end of a 'massive hiding'.

Ryan has already confirmed that he will step down from both his roles at the end of the season. That means that if the Wexford clash goes as he expects, it will be his last in charge and it seems as if it can't come soon enough for Ryan as he has really let loose during an interview with the Irish News.

The u21 side have flourished under Ryan, getting to an All Ireland final two years ago, but now he has had enough of the apathy shown to the inter-county scene by clubs in Antrim.

There is so little interest in this game, it’s unbelievable. It’s so frustrating and annoying to be honest with you. There are a dozen or so of those U21 lads who are really up for it, but to actually get them together for training has been difficult.

Once again it all boils down to the over-stretching of young players around so many different competitions. Many of the Antrim team are involved in club Championship action as well and it's a case of prioritising. For Ryan, he firmly believes he's losing that battle, something which will be made clear against Wexford.

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We’re in for a massive hiding this weekend. I’ve no problem in saying that. It’s so annoying that we couldn’t get the four weeks of preparation done.

My honest feeling is we don’t deserve to be in the competition.

An incredible statement to make days before his side take to the field and it will certainly be interesting to see what kind of effect it has on the players he does have at his disposal.

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