'Other teams would have folded after the two goals'

Reaction by Brendan Furlong

A 'double-edged sword' was how one could describe Wexford's Leinster Minor football quarter-final victory over Carlow.

Nolan was content to get to grips with the problems besetting his minor set-up through the opening rounds of the campaign, build on the few positives that emerged, getting together a side that showed the battling qualities the county is so proud of. The fact that the side inherited those qualities in difficult times is a tribute to Nolan and his backroom team of the county's lone football All Star, Mattie Ford, Luke O'Hanlon, Chris Murphy and Mark Doyle.

In a short few weeks Nolan has made this bunch of player tick despite the fact that only some joined the squad over the previous seven days, and this after the Minor hurlers exit from their very own title race. He was quick to refer to the lack of co-operation from the small ball code which beset the sides very earlier plans with problems that for so long seemed unsurmountable.

'I'm very proud of the lads, their football, commitment, and how they made this happen. some other teams would have folded when hit with those two second half goals but the lads really showed their qualities the manner in which they responded.

'When we had gone seven points ahead we looked comfortable and playing well. But when hit with those two goals it changed the whole dynamic of the game. But against that, the players kept their composure, worked their way back downfield for a crucial Mick Molloy point. That was a crucial score for it helped stall the Carlow recovery.

'We knew coming into this game that was Carlow's style. They showed against Westmeath their ability to bounce back against the odds. They showed it again to but thankfully we survived and got the victory no matter how narrow. It's a super day for these young players, they are now in a provincial semi-final, the last four, that's a remarkable achievement.

'Three players only came into the squad in the last week, one of them played to-day, but now we have five weeks to our next game. That will give the lads time, time to get over their exams, and then back to football. It's an open draw but we'll be prepared to matter.'

Having got to grips with the problems besetting the minor footballers, Nolan is now looking forward.

'Yes, we had our problems, the 'dual' player, the lack of co-operation. Some of the players stuck with us, more have since come in, so we'll move on. We will no longer look over our shoulder, we'll move on and prepare for the semi-final. We're happy to have got a result to-day, so now is the time for moving on, get the boys ready for whoever we meet, and hopefully have another big day for under-age football in the county, said Nolan.

Wexford People