Choice is simple: die or display our character v. Cork
Published 23/06/2015 | 00:00
Occasionally when I attend Wexford games a kind-hearted supporter on spotting my portly (but let me say well-toned) frame will shout out 'you may make a comeback Dempsey'.
Despite the obvious humour in the statement I usually straighten up and, re-energised, make my destination whether it be the toilet or the shop a couple of seconds quicker than would previously have been achieved just to show that the electrifying turn of pace which epitomised my career hadn't completely deserted me.
It is time to admit now that I am very happy that my career didn't coincide with this Kilkenny team of the last decade as whatever little success we had in our day would probably not have been achieved if in the presence of the best Cats outfit I have ever seen.
My situation in the crowd gave me the misfortune to have a bird's eye view of Richie Hogan and T.J. Reid who are proven geniuses, and young Ger Aylward unfortunately seems to have signalled that the conveyor belt is not ready to stall just yet.
The positives from a Wexford point of view on the day were scarce and when I raised the subject nobody in my car spoke until Kiltealy appeared in the rear view mirror.
Our choice now is to die or show the character that I know is within the group to come up with a performance against Cork that will better represent this group of players who have worked so hard over the past couple of years.
It is very hard to analyse a game when you are so comprehensively beaten but I am a firm believer that when you get any mirror of opportunity, particularly against quality opposition, you must maximise it to have any chance.
We never at any point looked like winning the game but when our two early goal opportunities surfaced we should have capitalised. When compared to the ruthlessness of our finishing in Ennis last year, confidence levels on Sunday seemed to be very low.
The Sunday Game 'experts' felt that Wexford weren't utilising the best option player available whereas I would have felt that we weren't direct enough and our delivery into the danger zone should be longer and quicker. Kilkenny gobble teams up when you hesitate.
There was also a definite lack of bite and while I am not an advocate of overly physical play I can't remember one big hit coming in from a Wexford player.
I felt Lee Chin, David Redmond and Ian Byrne did try to carry the game to the opposition and Mark Fanning made a couple of excellent saves, but overall it was as far from a Carlsberg day as one could imagine.
When coaching young players I generally tend to encourage them to maximise their steps and base my reasons on the Kilkenny ability in this area.
T.J. Reid was liberally judged when setting up the fourth goal and I believe that consistency is needed in this area when other counties are judged by the men in black.
Finally, I'm sure the Wexford management would not have taken the decision to drop Jack Guiney lightly.
It was a tough week for all concerned but the media coverage hasn't helped the situation.
In relation to Michael Duignan's latest Wexford attack I would make a general suggestion. If you are not party to all facts, silence is the best option.