independent

Monday 26 August 2019

Galvin's the perfect fit

Former Kerry star set to take over Wexford footballers

Paul Galvin, whose name has been put forward for ratification as the new Wexford Senior football manager
Paul Galvin, whose name has been put forward for ratification as the new Wexford Senior football manager

Brendan Furlong

As Paul Galvin arrives, the county still holds its breath for Davy Fitzgerald.

Kerry legend Galvin will be officially unveiled as Wexford Senior football manager next month.

While the backroom team has yet to be confirmed, names in the mix include Ciaran Deely, the former London manager and Wexford player, Kevin Doyle, the former soccer international, and Matty Forde, our only football All Star.

The appointment of Galvin comes at a stage when Davy Fitzgerald is taking some time out to ponder his future as the county's Senior hurling manager in the light of their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary.

So for once the footballers are ahead of their hurling counterparts when it comes to a major appointment which can only be a boost for the game in the county, particularly with Fitzgerald non-committal as to his future.

Wexford hurling has been on the receiving end over the past week, after the heavy Minor semi-final defeat to Galway, and the narrow, but heart-breaking, Senior semi-final loss to Tipperary.

Then on Sunday the 22-point mauling the county's Under-20 side received from the Premier county in their All-Ireland semi-final was another bitter blow.

Fitzgerald is facing into a difficult few months before announcing his future intentions.

The Clare native has expressed his love for the Wexford team and county, but will not be rushing into any dcision.

'I will take time out before arriving at a decision. It could be a number of months before I announce my intentions,' Fitzgerald said when I spoke with him at length on Monday.

While Fitzgerald will not take his eye off the domestic scene, he must have been disappointed with the Under-20 massacre to Tipperary, and the Minors' semi-final exit.

It appears the Under-20 semi-final preparations were not helped by the decision of Waterford's Pat Bennett to opt off the management team following the provincial final defeat to Kilkenny, leaving manager M.J. Reck with just two selectors, Lar Ronan and Lar Leacy.

No official announcement has been made surrounding the surprise defection.

While the hurlers await to know their fate regarding Fitzgerald's future, there is no such vacuum for the footballers, with Galvin ready to take on the mantle of manager once he is formally ratified.

Galvin will have known full well the challenge that faces him. Wexford finished third from bottom of Division 4 this year and shipped goals galore, including five to Waterford.

In their qualifier exit, Wexford were hit for four goals in the opening 28 minutes in their eventual 18-point defeat to Derry.

One of Galvin's main selling points is his big name.

The club footballers out there who wouldn't commit to the county may be intrigued enough at the appointment of the former footballer of the year (2005) and four-time All-Ireland winner and All Star, to give it one more go.

Now it's up to the Wexford players to match Galvin's ambition and standards.

It's a long way since 2008 and the footballers' shock All-Ireland semi-final appearance, where they lost out to Tyrone, after defeating Down and Armagh in Croke Park.

Football has been sliding away since then as replacements for top notch players such as Graeme Molloy, David Murphy, Matty Forde, Ciarán Lyng, Redmond Barry and P.J. Banville have not been found.

Wexford's and Galvin's first goal will be promotion from Division 4.

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