Dunne outlines different approach to training
Published 17/11/2015 | 00:00
Now Liam Dunne has to balance all of the knowledge gained from his contacts with other sports with his own model and plans for 2016.
'We are approaching training completely different. We have a totally different approach for the new season. The panel will be confined to 26, giving each and every player an opportunity to lay claim towards a place,' he revealed.
'We will have a development squad, comprising players eligible for Intermediate along with Under-21 players. This will help to keep everyone involved. We will be having games within the squad, and every player will have an opportunity to impress. I will be holding such a game within the next few weeks, so I will quickly find out who is up for the long journey, or not.'
The Wexford manager no longer is looking back, he is taking whatever positives he can with him, and solely concentrating on 2016.
'Look, we have one of the youngest Senior squads in the country, players ranging from 19 to 26 years. David Redmond and Eanna Martin are now the elder statesmen in the squad.
'We are now concentrating on getting a settled team for the Walsh Cup to be ready for the National League. I can talk about 2015 all day, but look, if we take 2014 and 2015, and bottle them together, we can learn so much.
'I can talk about performance, but if you look at the players, the players want to win, the players want to wear the jersey with pride. We did not win this year but it's by no means a failure, if we learn from it. Other people will see it as a failure and they are absolutely entitled to.
'But I won't look at my team, the work they do, and say they have failed. We don't carry any baggage. We started off three years back from a very low base, the rest had gone so far ahead of us. You have to acknowledge the quality of those sides,' Dunne said.
'But we now have the structures in place. We have won three provincial Under-21 titles in a row. It's hard to believe that the backbone of my Senior team is comprised of players whom I worked with at Under-16 and Minor levels.
'The players are committed, their physical condition was assessed in Thurles last weekend. They have their programmes, their individual training schedules. The Dublin-based players, 14 in all, will train one night per week in Ballyboden St. Enda's under Dave Bernie while Willie Cleary, our coach, will also be present.
'The home-based players will have their sessions in club indoor centres before taking to the Ferns Centre of Excellence. I have to say the Ferns Centre of Excellence is going to be a marvellous facility for all squads and camogie. The County Board deserve great credit,' he said.
'We have a full programme set out for the players with a packed December schedule with just a three-day break over Christmas. We are going to be ready for the league, the Saturday night opener under lights against Limerick, and Clare in Innovate Wexford Park the following weekend. Two massive games to kick-start our competitive season.'
Liam has a new backroom team, with Ger Cushe back for a further stint, joined by selectors Tom Foley and Aidan O'Connor, with Willie Cleary as coach, along with the expertise of Gerry Fitzpatrick, while Róisín Murphy of Glanbia will be the side's nutritionist.
Now with the club season complete, Liam and his backroom are discussing their squad which they hope to announce shortly. Over the last number of weeks many players have made decisions regarding their respective futures.
Rory Jacob, Ciarán Kenny, Tomás Waters and Garrett Sinnott have all retired from inter-county hurling, while Daithí Waters has decided to return to the football set-up after just one season hurling. Willie Devereux has opted out of the squad and there are more to follow.
However, to compensate, Jack Guiney has returned to the fold, after missing out on the championship, only playing against Westmeath.
Others to win over the new management include Shaun Murphy and Conor O'Leary (Oulart-The Ballagh), David Dunne (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy), Cathal Dunbar (Ballygarrett) and Shane O'Gorman (Adamstown).
On the players who have departed, Dunne said -
Rory Jacob: 'Rory had a groin operation last November. He didn't collectively train with the team for six months and missed the entire league, so it was not easy to expect game time'.
Daithí Waters: 'Daithí came in and threw in his lot with the hurlers. Everyone was judging him as a top Wexford footballer. Everyone expected him to do the same in hurling. It was never going to happen in one year. Perhaps he made his decision too quickly. Perhaps he should have given it another year. I wish him the best with the footballers'.
Tomás Waters: 'I had a conversation with Tomás. He was bitterly disappointed at having to call it a day. That's the measure of the man. He came back from a horrific knee injury, but with no cartilage in the knee found it was unable to stand up the rigours and demands training placed on him. I was so disappointed for him'.
Garrett Sinnott: 'Garrett has been playing through the pain barrier. He has had three injections into the bone in his leg. He found he could no longer cope with inter-county as a result'.
Ciarán Kenny: 'Ciarán has been a great servant, a great person in the dressing-room. He has been ravaged with injuries, one after the other, while always having recurring problems in the middle of the campaigns. He will be a huge loss'.
On the players coming in -
Jack Guiney: 'Jack is back in the fold. He has given a clear commitment. We look forward to working with him as he can be a great player'.
Shaun Murphy: 'Shaun returned to his club, bedded down a permanent position, and played his way back into the squad with impressive displays. He has certainly benefited from his club campaign'.
Conor O'Leary: 'Coming in to compete for the goalkeeper's position. I have told him, he's not just coming in to be No. 2, I want him competing and becoming No. 1, keeping pressure on Mark (Fanning)'.
David Dunne has shown real club form, while he was also an impressive Under-21 last year. Cathal Dunbar and Shane O'Gorman have been huge performers for their clubs, having thrived also at Under-21 level.
This is a hugely exciting time for Wexford hurling. Now hopefully, we can have some calm, and look forward to moving the county into the top tier of hurling in 2016.
Liam Dunne is now working as a sales representative with Stafford Coal, and he will also be working under the Stafford Group on the road for Campus Oil. Lifestyle Sports is another component of the Stafford Group.