U-14 boss ready to quit if squad activity put on hold

Brendan Furlong

It's not an absolute necessity in the G.A.A., but when you look back at the breakthrough teams at Senior level, very often they were preceded by, or accompanied by, successful under-age structures.

Wexford Senior hurling at present is benefiting from a successful Under-21 reign at provincial level, as was evident in the league quarter-final victory over Kilkenny , this coupled with strong Minor set-ups over the past three to four years.

But the value of that connection seems to have fallen on deaf ears at a lower level, with the county Under-14 academy hurling squad manager, Bartley Regan, threatening resignation should the squad be prevented from having sessions during May and June in the lead up to the All-Ireland Féile which is being co-hosted by Wexford in June.

The manager was taken aback on receipt of instructions regarding squad sessions during this period, but he is not willing to accept what he described as a decision that would be detrimental to Under-14 hurling the county.

'There is talk about it (not having squad sessions), but a lot of people are objecting,' Regan said.

'There is a lot of thinking going on. We are thinking it all through. There is talk about it but nothing in place at the moment.

'We are trying to manage the situation for the good of the chaps.

'We will see how it plays out but at the end of the day it's about the young players.

'If we stop hurling for six to eight weeks, in two of the best months of the year, it would be detrimental to Under-14 hurling in the county.

'Then we call ourselves a hurling county. It's 49 years since we won an All-Ireland Minor hurling title. Kilkenny have 24 titles, Tipperary have 21, and then you have Cork and Galway.

'If Wexford stuck with the system we can be winning All-Irelands at Under-17. But if we stop hurling for six to eight weeks in the summer it would be a joke. If it happens I'm gone,' he said.

While an effort was made to contact Coaching Officer, Bobby Goff, he was not available to comment before our deadline on Monday.

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