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Sunday 22 October 2017

Michelle in action on European stage

With the UEFA women's Euro 2017 competition in full swing, Wexford official Michelle O'Neill has been performing on the big stage with distinction.

She was assistant referee for two games last week, Norway versus Belgium and Russia against Germany.

Michelle is one of 17 Irish officials selected for European assignments so far this year after their inclusion on the FIFA international referees' panel.

Incidentally, the most recent addition to that list is Robert Hennessy from Limerick who certainly didn't endear himself to Wexford F.C. supporters in their 2-0 home loss to Cobh Ramblers on Friday.

Indeed, on the basis of his poor performance which was marred by a string of baffling decisions, it's difficult to understand how he satisfied the criteria to referee games across Europe.

Incidentally, the total attendances for the SSE Airtricity First Division to date were released by the FAI last week and make for interesting reading.

Wexford's figure is 3,078 which is the third lowest of the eight teams in their sector, as UCD (2,580) and Athlone Town (2,147) bring up the rear.

The runaway leaders are likely champions Waterford on a whopping 15,304 which is more than 10,000 better than the next best, Shelbourne, on 4,978.

The remaining figures are 4,069 for Cobh Ramblers, 3,482 for Cabinteely, and 3,307 for Longford Town.

It's amazing what a bit of success will do, because Waterford have enjoyed a notable increase in their home crowds, with 1,923 spectators turning up at the R.S.C. for their match against Athlone Town on Friday, April 14, their highest attendance of the campaign.

The Blues have been able to sustain the crowds at the popular venue as 1,852 spectators turned out for the recent Cobh Ramblers match.

Attendances in the SSE Airtricity League in general, covering both the Premier and First Division, have risen by 48.8% in the 2017 season in comparison to the same period from the previous season.

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