Carey chosen as camogie manager
With just a few days to go to the start of the National Camogie League, Wexford finally have a Senior manager in place.
Martin Carey, one-time Kilkenny goalkeeper and brother of hurling legend D.J., is the chosen one. Or more accurately - the last-chance saloon for a bungling County Board.
In truth, the search for a new boss to lead the women of Wexford has been a farce, with the board labelled as 'unprofessional' by a couple of impressive candidates for the long-vacant spot.
Kevin Murphy, who has formerly trained the Senior side and managed the Intermediate team, was verbally told he had the post in mid-December, two days after going in to interview with two representatives of the County Board (there was supposed to be a third panel member but that individual wasn't present).
He went away to put his management team together, noting that there would be a few stipulations for him taking the position of Senior and Intermediate boss. In e-mails seen by this reporter, Murphy asked for proper access to pitches, and equality for both squads with proper gear available for the Intermediates as well as the Seniors.
He required the promise of some investment in technology to help gauge the level of the players and to help identify areas of possible improvement. Murphy required passes to local camogie club championship games to keep an eye on all the talent in the county.
He sought below going-rate expenses for himself, plus a selector based in the north of the county, a meagre amount when loss of earnings from refereeing and his work as a physio are taken into account. It was the correspondence of a man who wanted to take the county camogie team forward.
Murphy received an e-mail from the County Board stating: 'Having considered your proposal in detail, we regret to inform you that we are not in a position to accept, due to financial circumstance. We thank you for your interest in the role of Senior & Intermediate manager & wish you well in the future.'
The County Board has now gone to Kilkenny to appoint a new boss.
To add insult to injury, Murphy was then left flabbergasted and angry when a member of the County Board allegedly told a third party in an informal conversation that he 'wasn't suitable' for the position. He will now take up a training role with Askamore for the coming club season.
Previously, current HWH-Bunclody manager, Kevin Kennedy, formerly a selector with the Wexford Under-21 hurlers and Oulart-The Ballagh, was approached by the County Board in November, with a view to gauge his interest in the position of manager.
Kennedy was open to the idea and went about putting together a management team that included a former All-Ireland winning boss. He expected things to move quickly, with time of the essence with the National League set to start in mid-January.
Time ticked by, and days turned to weeks until one Friday night in mid-December he received a text asking him to attend an interview, like Murphy, the very next evening. Understandably flabbergasted by the County Board and their methods, Kennedy immediately pulled himself out of contention for the position.
Those are the experiences of just two candidates, and the position has only now just been filled. Preparations could hardly be more scattergun.
Wexford have four group games in Division 1 of the National League, starting with Tipperary on Sunday, but only got together at short notice for a first training session last Saturday.
Seven days after the opener, on Sunday week, Wexford welcome Cork in their second outing. When Wexford travel to Offaly on February 4 things could already look bleak, and they will end the group stages with a home game against Galway before the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the Intermediates only start their campaign on February 18 away to Antrim. In a logistically horrific round-robin stage, they follow that with a trip to Down seven days later.
After a home game with Cork on March 11, they travel to Westmeath on the 25th before ending with a home game against Carlow seven days later.