Dunne makes changes
Cleary, Foley and O'Connor join hurling backroom team
Published 28/07/2015 | 00:00
Wexford boss Liam Dunne has made a number of significant changes to his backroom team ahead of the 2016 season.
When the County G.A.A. management committee meet this Wednesday evening, they will be presented with an alteredlook to the Senior hurling backroom team which includes two new faces as selectors: Tom Foley (Rathnure) and Aidan O'Connor (Buffers Alley).
Ger Cushe remains on in that role but Murty Dempsey announced that he would be unable to continue owing to family and business commitments. Damien Fitzhenry, a selector last year, will now be the goalkeeping mentor, while perhaps the most significant appointment of all is that of Willie Cleary as as hurling coach.
Cleary, from Clonard, has experience of managing Wexford at Minor hurling level, and has been involved on the club scene with Rathnure as a coach. Currently he is managing and coaching Kilkenny club side, Carrickshock, including inter-county brothers, Richie and John Power. Cleary is highly regarded by the Kilkenny club and players where he is making a significant contribution this year.
After a disappointing 2015 league and championship campaign, Dunne sat down with County Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, to reflect on the season. As a result a full and comprehensive review was presented by Dunne, who still had another year to serve after being given a further two years at the end of 2013.
Devereux was adamant that changes to the backroom team were needed to freshen up the squad's approach for 2016.
Following several meetings, Dunne is now about to deliver on his backroom which is expected to be sanctioned when the County Chairman makes his presentation to Wednesday night's county management committee.
Newcomers Foley and O'Connor are both from hurling strongholds but this will be their first venture into the Senior inter-county scene although they have significant experience at club level.
Dunne's backroom team will once again include Gerry Fitzpatrick, one of the leading physical trainers in the country who is in much demand, while Paudie Butler will also be available to continue with his coaching role with the squad.
But the Wexford manager is by no means finished in his overhaul of the backroom as he is expected to appoint a forwards coach this week.
The finalisation of this role has been one of his top priorities and he is now believed to be closing in on his Munster-based target.
Wexford's new-look management set-up will see 2016 as a great challenge and an ideal opportunity to put 2015 behind them and steer the county back as a major force on the hurling scene.
Now that the backroom team is complete, one can also expect Dunne and his selectors to bring about significant changes to the playing squad following on from this year's below-par performances.