Sunday 17 December 2017

Camogie changes

Dean Goodison

Ailish Whitty (outgoing Secretary and new Chairperson), Angela Gahan (outgoing Chairperson and new Treasurer), Donnacha Kerins (outgoing Vice-Chairperson), Deirdre Colfer (new P.R.O.) and Mary O'Reilly (Assistant Treasurer) at Co. Convention last week
Ailish Whitty (outgoing Secretary and new Chairperson), Angela Gahan (outgoing Chairperson and new Treasurer), Donnacha Kerins (outgoing Vice-Chairperson), Deirdre Colfer (new P.R.O.) and Mary O'Reilly (Assistant Treasurer) at Co. Convention last week
Caroline O'Connell and Clare O'Leary of Rathnure receiving the club of the year award from Angela Gahan (outgoing Chairperson) at Co. Convention in the IFA Centre, Enniscorthy, on Monday of last week, with Margaret Sheils (President) looking on

The Wexford Senior camogie side will have its fifth manager in the last four seasons when the 2016 campaign kicks off in February.

John Kelly takes the reins from outgoing Bainisteóir Colm McGee, with trainer Matthew Flynn-O'Connor staying on as assistant manager.

Kelly, from the St. Ibar's/Shelmalier club, was a selector for the 2015 season but will now fill the hot seat after former manager McGee opted out of taking a second year in charge. With the promotion of Flynn-O'Connor, other management roles will need to be filled in the coming weeks.

It is, at the moment, unclear who the new boss will have to work with when training resumes in the coming weeks. Several high-profile players have been tipped to hang up the boots but Kelly's first task will be to ensure he keeps as many stars in the mix as possible.

The first assignment for the Seniors will come on February 21 when they open their league campaign at home to Clare. A week later Kelly's side travel to Tipperary to face the Premier county before hosting Dublin on March 12.

Oulart-The Ballagh's All-Ireland semi-final against Milford from Cork takes place on January 31 with the final five weeks later, and Kelly will hope to have the Leinster champions' contingent back in the fold for a home game against Galway on March 20.

Wexford will travel to Offaly for the final round robin game on March 27 hoping to still be able to reach the league semi-final scheduled for April 17. Should the Slaneysiders win through to the final it will take place on May 1.

Following the Leinster championship, Wexford will opening their All-Ireland campaign at home to Limerick on June 18.

A visit to Offaly follows a week later before Wexford face a trip to neighbours Waterford on July 2.

The big game in the group stages, at home to Cork, takes place a week later and is followed by the long trip to Clare on July 16. Wexford will be looking to avoid the quarter-finals on the weekend of the July 30 in favour of a direct route to the August 13 penultimate round. The final is down for Croke Park on September 11.

Also starting the season with dreams of headquarters in September will be Tom Dunphy's Intermediate side.

The Duffry Rovers clubman will take charge of the second string for another year after guiding them to an improved season in 2015.

Dunphy's backroom team is expected to be finalised as early as this week when the County Board reconvenes to tie up several of the loose ends arising out of Convention.

The Intermediate side start their league season at home to Kildare on February 21 before facing Down a week after. A visit to Laois is on the agenda on March 13 while Kilkenny come to Wexford seven days later.

The group ends with another local derby as Carlow cross the border to face Dunphy's charges. Should they finish in the top two, Wexford will play in the Division 2 semi-final on April 17, with the final two weeks later.

Again, Leinster will be used to hone the Intermediates before the All-Ireland series starts with a trip to Tipp on June 25. Antrim are next up on July 2, with Wexford's first home game, against Laois, following a week later.

The final round robin game is against Kilkenny on July 23, meaning Wexford will have to wait until the other teams finish their fixtures two weeks later to find out their chances of progression. Should a last four spot be secured, that game would take place on the weekend of August 20.

There's an urgent need for a Minor manager that may be filled in the coming days.

The need is great because the All-Ireland series begins on the weekend of February 21 against Limerick.

Wexford travel to Galway the following week and face Waterford on March 26.

A home victory over Cork on April 4 may be needed to secure a semi-final place.

The last four is scheduled for April 16 with the final down for decision, well ahead of the Leaving Cert., a week later.

New Under-16 manager Derry Conran (Rathnure) will have plenty of time to bed his side in, with their opening championship clash against Galway set for July 3.

Back-to-back home clashes against Offaly and Cork are next in the following two weeks.

A trip to Tipperary ends the group on July 24, with a potential semi-final down for decision two weeks later.

The final is pencilled in for the following weekend of August 13.

Desperately needed changes could be on the way with a review of under-age teams' performance set to open up several recommendations in the coming week. Wexford has improved at Minor level and below in recent years but has yet to make a big final.

Finally, there were plenty of changes at the top table of camogie in the county, with Ailish Whitty elected as the new Chairperson. The Rathgarogue-Cushinstown clubwoman takes over from the outgoing Angela Gahan, beating Donnacha Kerins (Rapparees) in a straight head-to-head by 46 votes to 17.

The vote for Vice-chairperson was closer but again the outgoing Kerins was defeated, this time by 33 votes to 31, by Buffers Alley clubwoman Melanie Ní Dhuinn. The Secretary's role is expected to be filled on Wednesday evening.

New Assistant Secretary is Máire O'Connor (St. Martin's), with former Chairperson Gahan (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy) taking the role of Treasurer.

Mary O'Reilly (Glynn-Barntown) remains on the County Board in the position of Assistant Treasurer.

The problem role of last year, Public Relations Officer, has been filled by former Minor selector Deirdre Colfer (St. Martin's), while Johanna Quigley (Oylegate-Glenbrien) will take over the role of Registrar from long-serving board member Barbara Ryan.

Joe Roche remains on as Development Officer.

Wexford People

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