Friday 18 October 2019

Changes likely on Wexford town club scene

Brendan Furlong

Speculation rife regarding the future direction of two Wexford town G.A.A. clubs.

There are fears for the Clonard club who are expected to hold a meeting this week when the 2015 season will be discussed along with what the future holds for the club, if any.

This year saw them again unite with St. John's Volunteers for under-age and Junior 'A' hurling, playing under Wygram Gaels and being relegated to the lowest adult level, but it's the disappointing results in football that have cast doubts over the future of the club.

At Junior football level they suffered a succession of embarrassing defeats and also made the drop. This has generated fears that the club's continuing struggle is set to continue, unless there's a total transformation, which is highly unlikely, given the success of fellow town football clubs.

Now it's also believed that the Volunteers are giving strong considerations of returning to their roots, and becoming a solely football club, opting out of hurling both at under-age and adult levels. This would see their amalgamation with Clonard end, with Faythe Harriers becoming the sole hurling club in the capital town for the first time since the formation of Clonard in 1978.

When contacted yesterday (Monday}, Clonard club Chairman, Ger Cashman, said they would be holding their usual meeting this week. When asked about the club's future, he said: 'I'm not prepared to comment on that in any way, one way or the other'.

Volunteers club Chairman, Peter McGuire, said nothing has been decided yet.

'We hold a general meeting and whoever likes to attend can do so each November. We will be holding such a meeting next month when the year will be discussed, both hurling and football, but no decisions will be made until after that,' he said.

'Last year when we realised our hurling numbers were down we joined with Clonard at under-age and Junior, simply because we hadn't the numbers on our own. We were always a more dominant football club, but no decision has been made regarding football and hurling.

'We will have an open discussion at this November meeting, and take whatever comes from it. After this meeting we will know where we stand.

'We will discuss not only football or hurling, or should we opt for football, but several other things, and possible suggestions from parents and whoever attends. We will make our position known after that meeting,' he added.

These are cautious days for both clubs, but given that the Volunteers were successful in this year's Junior football championship, coupled with the progress being made with under-age football, one can understand why they are contemplating a return to being a football-only club from 2016 forward.

Whatever decisions are arrived at will lead to a discussion on the future of the transfer ban in the town, which still has one year to go, at County Board level.

Should Volunteers opt away from hurling coupled with Clonard's decision as to their future, it could lead to the transfer ban becoming null and void. Certainly, the County Board would be anxious not to prevent a group of young hurlers from playing the game and allowing them to join the sole hurling club which may remain in the town, Faythe Harriers.

Wexford People

Most Read