Youths cry foul

Club up in arms over Keegan’s move

Published 12/11/2016 | 00:00

Mick Wallace, Chairman of Wexford Youths, has confirmed that the club will be lodging a formal complaint with the FAI and seeking adequate compensation for an alleged breach of League of Ireland rules after manager Shane Keegan left to join Galway United on a two-year contract.

In a statement issued late Sunday night, Wallace noted that 'it's been a difficult few days for all involved with Wexford Youths FC'.

'On Friday morning, the day of the biggest game in WYFC history, one that would determine whether the club could retain its place in the Premier Division of LOI, or not, the word spread that a rival League of Ireland club was about to announce the appointment of Shane Keegan as their manager.

'For this news to spread on such a day, let alone the fact that Keegan was under contract to Wexford Youths FC for another year, was grossly unprofessional on the part of Galway United and a blatant breach of League of Ireland rules. WYFC shall be lodging a formal complaint with the FAI and seeking adequate compensation.

'The club would like to thank Shane Keegan for his 5 years at the helm culminating in our winning the First Division in 2015 and presiding over our first ever season in the Premier Division,' the statement continues.

'The club made huge strides during this period and while deeply unhappy with the manner of Shane's departure, the club will continue to hold him in high regard, and wish him well.

'The club would like to thank the players and the coaching staff for their hard work and absolute commitment in their efforts to keep the club in the top division. Alas, following the 3-0 defeat in Drogheda, it was not to be.

'While this is a setback to our Senior team, and the club's development, the rebuilding process must start straight away. Wexford Youths is a special club, and we intend to keep it so.

'We need to move on, and select a new manager as quickly as possible, no time can be wasted as we prepare for the new season in the First Division,' Wallace added.

They have now invited expressions of interest for the senior managerial position, with applications to be sent to club Secretary Terry Cooke by Friday, November 18 (terrycooke@eircom.net).

'Today's Cup final defeat of our Senior Women's side, losing 5-0 to Shelbourne, has added to a difficult weekend, but our players could not be faulted for effort - they were beaten by a better side, and can consider themselves unfortunate not to have scored a few goals themselves,' the statement noted.

'Their achievement in reaching the final for the second year running should not be underestimated, and they are still very much in the running for the League title.'

Wallace ended on a typically defiant note: 'The Wexford Youths club is now ten years old, not many of the experts back then thought we'd still be around ten years later.

'Well, get used to it, we're here for the long term, and remain determined to show that our social, community project will remain a sustainable one. Forza Youths....'

Keegan's departure came at the end of a miserable week as the club was relegated on Friday.

Wexford People

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