Money still talks in the soccer world
The amateurs of Wexford Youths are constantly up against it in their quest to lock horns with the professional clubs in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division, and this was never more clearly underlined than for the visit of Sligo Rovers last Friday.
Rovers manager Dave Robertson, who collected his new signing from Port Vale, Frenchman Achille Campion, at the airport on Thursday on his way to the game, outlined their preparations for the Youths clash after their easy 5-0 win.
'We travelled to Wexford on Thursday, and stayed overnight in a hotel. We trained on Thursday evening, and had a further session on Friday morning when we prepared tactics,' he explained.
'We treated this game seriously, and we gave Wexford Youths the same respect as we would give the top sides. We are developing a squad with a possible top five finish as a target, and then we will sit down and assess our season, and plan for further improvement for next season.
'The game showed our preparations were rewarded. To score five goals in any game is an achievement. We are delighted with the result and the display, as we had feared Youths on home turf,' he added.
Not for the first time it highlighted a professional outfit winning out over amateurs in what is developing into a two-tier league, despite comprising just twelve clubs.
As for Youths manager Shane Keegan, he has set his side a target this Friday evening in Ferrycarrig Park when they meet bottom team Longford Town. Clearly shocked and annoyed with his side's second-half collapse, he is now not just expecting a response from his players but demanding a display fitting of the club.
'We played some our best football of the season during a 25-minute spell in the opening half. Chris Kenny had a header off the bar, while we also spurned other opportunities, but whether this gave us a false picture or what, that second-half display was totally unacceptable,' he said.
'Giving away four second-half goals is not on at this level. We have Longford Town, the basement side, as visitors this Friday evening. I have to expect the mother of all battles and a response from the players.'