Achieving the top level in your chosen sport is most people’s target, and to be selected to represent your country is possibly the highest accolade. It’s a proud moment when you don your country’s colors and hear your national anthem being played.
Ryan represented Ireland recently, wearing the emerald green shirt, along with Nial Donnelly (3 goals), Michael Henderson (4 goals), and Max Hutchinson (2 goals) to play against the 16 goal Piaget Young England squad in the Diamond Jubilee Trophy which was held at Guards following the Coronation Cup match on International Day.
It’s a great feeling to go out and play in front of a 3,000 strong crowd on one of the biggest days in the UK’s polo calendar. The spectators make all the difference, hearing them cheer and clapping the goals. Of course the majority of the crowd were supporting England, but there were a good number of Irish supporters and those that like to encourage the underdogs. The Irish team being 2 goals down in handicap knew they were up against it and the superior handicap of the England squad eventually proved too much. The result was a respectable defeat of just 4 goals to 3.
Playing for your country is about doing the best you can, giving 100%, and holding your head high. What an honor.Photo: Images of Polo; Ryan shakes hands with the Duke of Edinburgh.