Wednesday 16 October 2019

Banty in the hot seat

Ex-Monaghan and Meath boss the new football manager

Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney, the new Wexford Senior football manager, in the stand in Pearse Park, Arklow, on Saturday watching Taghmon-Camross lose to Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney in the AIB Leinster Club Intermediate championship
Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney, the new Wexford Senior football manager, in the stand in Pearse Park, Arklow, on Saturday watching Taghmon-Camross lose to Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney in the AIB Leinster Club Intermediate championship

Brendan Furlong

Having spent four years in managerial wilderness, Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney has been announced as the new Wexford Senior football boss.

The 48-year-old, who last managed Meath, has insisted he is re-energised and ready to rock in Wexford after county chiefs handed him a two-year term at the helm with the option of a third year.

McEnaney, who led his native Monaghan to Division 1 along with two Ulster finals, said 'every person in Wexford who loves their football, I want to get them out of their house, away from their fire and out to support the team'.

'Banty' spoke of how he felt being out of inter-county football management for the last four years.

'This summer more than previously, I got a real feel that it was time to be back in that dressing-room again,' he said.

'When I spoke with the County Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, I was overcome with the enthusiasm he showed for football. We spoke on several occasions, and met to discuss the managerial positions.

'I know of the potential young players in Wexford, having won a Leinster Under-21 while also winning the last two Leinster Juniors with a very young set-up. His enthusiasm won me over so I decided to give it a real go.

'I've been in these trenches (Division 4) before. I know what's it's like. I'm looking forward to getting Wexford boxing at their weight or above,' he added.

'Having met the county Chairman, I also met the committee, while I also spoke to some of the players. It never leaked and that's a credit to them. I also travelled down to Wexford.

'I viewed the facilities in Ferns, the Centre of Excellence, and Wexford Park.'

Looking ahead and commenting on the quality of players at his disposal, Banty added:

'I believe there is good talent in Wexford. I would have managed against seven to eight of their team previously. They won a Leinster Under-21 in 2011.

'For whatever reason there was only two of them playing last year. I believe there is more talent in Wexford that can be tapped into.

'They are in Division 4 for a reason. Now, my job is to maximise that talent. I was seriously impressed by the enthusiasm of the players and everybody I spoke to in Wexford about Wexford football.'

Regarding other managerial speculation, he said: 'I've been linked to every job that has been up over the last five years in the north-east. Not some of them, but all of them.

'Some of them were without foundation, but the bottom line is I'm Wexford manager today and looking forward to it.'

The Corduff man, who has business interests in Dublin, is currently putting his backroom team together, but it will included highly-regarded trainer Martin McElkennon, a native of Tyrone with an impressive C.V.

Right now McEnaney is looking forward to the O'Byrne Cup and National League, with the main priority to gain promotion away from Division 4.

Wexford will play Carlow in the opening round of the provincial championship.

The winners will face All-Ireland champions Dublin in the provincial quarter-final, which could take place in Innovate Wexford Park should they see off the Barrowsiders.

McEnaney takes over at the helm from Tipperary's David Power who served two years in charge before stepping aside following this year's championship, when the team lost to Kildare in the provincial quarter-final and Fermanagh in the qualifiers.

Meanwhile, long-serving goalkeeper Anthony Masterson won't be involved either in the new year, with the Castletown clubman announcing his retirement from the inter-county scene after making his debut in 2005.

l Meanwhile, former inter-county player, David Murphy, has been included in McEnaney's backroom team.

The St. Mary's (Rosslare) clubman who gave sterling service to Wexford football as a player will be tasting inter-county football from the sideline for the first time.

McEnaney said that Murphy was his number one target once handed the Wexford post.

'I made David (Murphy) my priority and he will be my number two'. The coach to the team will be Ulster man, Martin McElkennon who has served with McEnaney both in Monaghan and Meath.

Wexford People

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