Sunday 25 August 2019

Banty defers decision

Announcement on future to come at the end of August

Brendan Furlong

Wexford senior football manager Seamus McEnaney has deferred a decision on his future until the end of the month.

Ahead of the 2017 inter-county football season, McEnaney was announced by then County Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, as the county's new Senior football manager.

But when the team bowed out of the All-Ireland title race with a heavy qualifier defeat to his native Monaghan, McEnaney cast doubt on his future with the county.

The Slaneysiders started off the campaign in flying form, winning five games on the bounce in Division 4 of the National League. In turn they secured promotion, and met Westmeath in the final, but unfortunately for the Model men, they lost out comprehensively to a much stronger side.

Although Banty's initial aim of gaining promotion to Division 3 was achieved, his side lost to Carlow in the provincial championship. That performance typified Wexford football, but a one-point qualifier win over Limerick resurrected their season, before it ended with that heavy defeat to Monaghan.

Having met with the players on an individual basis in the Ferrycarrig Hotel on Wednesday evening, Banty has yet to announce his future with Wexford, if any.

Travel is a primary reason for considering his position. 'Look, it's a horrendous journey, it's a journey that's unsustainable, the mileage covered from home to games and training, that has to be considered,' he said.

But a lot more than mileage needs to be addressed before he comes to a firm decision.

'I have a talks process to go through. This is a big decision, not just for me, but also the players, as players' futures are at stake.

'I've spent the last couple of weeks away from the game contemplating as this is a hugely important decision, for me, the players and the County Board. I'm not going to run into a decision,' he said.

'The championship did not end well but one has to take in the year as a whole. Our primary aim was promotion from Division 4 which we achieved.

'While our championship was disappointing, promotion was achieved, with the result the players and county can look forward to Division 3 football next season.'

Regarding any approaches from other counties seeking new managers, Banty said: 'I would not entertain an approach from any other county while I'm manager of Wexford. I'm still manager of Wexford Senior football which I respect.

'I will be making a decision on my future by the end of August. I will have to satisfy myself before making the next move.'

Meanwhile, the talk on the future of Senior hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald, will continue for the time being at least.

There is total silence from the hurling camp, with Fitzgerald still to make an announcement as to his future with the Model county hurlers. While Waterford manager Derek McGrath has ruled himself out of the race for the vacant Dublin job, the feeling in Wexford is that Fitzgerald is still edging towards another season at the helm of our hurling team.

With Fitzgerald having the full backing of the players, and having always been adamant that he will deliver silverware for Wexford, he is now unlikely to desert the county after just a season in charge, particularly having achieved promotion to Division 1A of the National League, qualified for a Leinster final, and recording two wins over Kilkenny.

Wexford People

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