Ryan says Kelly was dropped over fitness

Updated: Thursday, 05 Jan 2012 15:35

Eoin Kelly - Left out of the Waterford panel
Eoin Kelly - Left out of the Waterford panel

Waterford manager Michael Ryan has told a local radio station that he dropped Eoin Kelly from the panel over fitness concerns.

He also said that the Passage East man turned down the chance to meet management over the issue.

It was revealed yesterday that Kelly, a two-time All Star with a 10-year inter-county career behind him, had been left out of the Waterford senior hurling panel for the 2012 season.

The door appeared to be left open for Kelly with the Waterford management saying that players who performed well in club games may be reconsidered.

It is understood that Kelly is eager to get back into the panel.

But Ryan, who replaced Davy Fitzgerald after he left in October, today put his side of the story to local station WLR FM. He claimed that Kellly performed poorly in a fitness test and then refused to meet with management to discuss their concerns.

Ryan said: "We met with Eoin Kelly in October – as we did a number of other players. He was then brought in for a fitness assessment and a gym programme for seven weeks.

"At the end of seven weeks, he was called in, as the rest of the players were, and given a fitness test by Pat Flanagan.

"The results of that test were disappointing, to be honest. I then contacted Eoin and I said to him that we were going to invite him to join the panel for the month of January and see would that make any difference, on one condition that he came in and met us.

"He refused to meet us and I said to him very specifically 'Eoin, do you realise by not meeting us the consequences of your decision?'

"He said 'I do'. I said 'OK, will you think about that overnight and I’ll come back and talk to you tomorrow'. So I rang him again the following day and again, Eoin said that he hadn’t changed his mind. That was exactly as he felt.

"So, in effect, Eoin Kelly has effectively ruled himself out of the squad for the moment."