Forde facing ban while irate Power slams 'thuggery'
Wexford football is certainly in the news, with coach Matty Forde facing a possible ban from the game, while the team manager, David Power, has described some incidents in his side's defeat to Antrim as 'not football, but thuggery', writes Brendan Furlong.
In the build-up to their second round game, Wexford's preparations were hampered somewhat when news filtered through that Forde is being investigated by the Central Competitions Control Committee (C.C.C.C.) for an alleged incident during the county's opening round victory over Leitrim in Bellefield, with a possible suspension being recommended.
The incident is alleged to have taken place during the second-half, when a group of players went over the sideline in a chase for possession close to the home side's dug-out. The matter was over within seconds and play resumed with a sideline kick to the visitors.
However, some moments later Monaghan referee, Martin McNally, after consulting with Meath linesman David Gough, gave Forde just three minutes to leave the pitch, stating 'otherwise there will be 30 disappointed players'.
Forde left the Wexford dug-out area but it was believed that that would have been the end of the matter.
However, David Power confirmed 'there is the possibility of a suspension but hopefully common sense will prevail. The referee did not approach Matty immediately after the incident or take his name, until seconds later during the course of play, asking him to leave the pitch'.
For the moment Wexford G.A.A. officials are remaining tight-lipped on the situation and are not commenting on any proposed findings from the investigations committee.
However, it's understood that any proposed ban for Forde will be appealed.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the county's four-point defeat to Antrim in Corrigan Park, Power has lashed out at the northern style of football.
'I'm frustrated, disappointed and tired. Conditions were very tough but Antrim's physicality took the game to another extreme,' he said.
'There was a stamping incident, a punch in the face and a clothes line offence, and the referee, Sligo's John Gilmartin, failed to do anything about it,' he claimed. 'I'm not making excuses, but this is not football, it's thuggery.
'The weather and underfoot conditions were very conducive to the northern style of play which is very defensive. The type of game played was not a forward-friendly game but on paper this is possibly our toughest away game, physically at least.
'We have lots of work to do before we take on London at the end of the month. There's lots of things we need to improve on which is what we will be concentrating on in training over the coming weeks.'
However, Power has ruled out ace attacker, Ciarán Lyng, for that encounter.
'Ciarán is getting treatment for a hip problem. It will be the middle of March before he is back, but against that Daithí (Waters) and P.J. (Banville) will also have more time to increase their fitness levels.'