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Soccer, Sports

Barry Ryan Announces Retirement

Barry Ryan pictured in action for Limerick FC. Picture courtesy www.limerickfc.ie

Barry Ryan pictured in action for Limerick FC. Picture courtesy http://www.limerickfc.ie

Ennis man, Barry Ryan has decided to hang up his gloves following a memorable career that saw him play in the League of Ireland for seventeen years.

Ryan first came to prominence in Clare whilst lining out for Cloughleigh Celtic. At the age of eighteen, UCD acquired the services of the Ennisman. He made one hundred and fifty nine appearances for the students over a six year period. During his time with UCD he was chosen as the Soccerwriters Association of Ireland (SWAI) goalkeeper of the year in 2002, an accolade he was nominated for on a number of occasions since.

Shamrock Rovers snapped up Barry Ryan in 2003 and managed to keep a clean-sheet in his debut for the Hoops against Drogheda United. During his stint with Rovers, Ryan made twenty eight appearances for the club, four of them being in European matches. His time with Rovers came to an abrupt end as he tested positive for the use of cocaine and a nine month ban followed.

This incident did not deter Ryan as he moved on to pastures new with Dublin City. The custodian could not be blamed for the Vikings relegation from the League of Ireland and the club was later refused an operating license for the following season and effectively ceded from the league.

St Patricks Athletic took advantage of the Vikings misfortunes and ensured to get Barry Ryan on their books. Ryan enjoyed a successful stint with St Pats that saw the side come agonizingly close to winning the League of Ireland in 2007 and 2008 along with losing the FAI Cup Final in 2006.

Barry moved to Terryland Park in January 2009 and established himself as the first choice goalkeeper with Galway United. He stood between the sticks sixty seven times for the Maroon Army, maintaining his reputation as one of the best shot-stoppers in the League of Ireland before bidding farewell in December 2010.

Limerick was the next destination for the popular keeper. Initially upon arriving at Jackman Park, Barry had to play second fiddle to his brother Dave. However, Barry took advantage of an injury sustained by his brother and made twenty nine starts in his debut season. Barry played an instrumental role in securing The Blues’ return to the top flight in 2012. He played twenty two games for Limerick in his final season, conceding only twenty seven goals and getting five clean sheets before deciding to hang up the gloves.

Ryan decided to leave Limerick FC last month and paid special tribute to goalkeeper coach, Eddie Hickey and “all the lads I’ve met over the years”. He announced his retirement this week via his twitter account saying “I’ve made the decision to retire. Had a great 19-20 yrs playing ball, have met some fantastic people along the way”.

The Clare native later added “Time is right for me. Not bad for a lad from Ennis”. Not bad at all Barry.

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About Páraic McMahon

A native of Newmarket-on-Fergus, Páraic McMahon is the Chief Sportswriter with The Clare Herald.

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