Sunday 18 August 2019

Hally's resignation another bitter blow for Wexford football

Championship Special

Brendan Furlong
Brendan Furlong

Brendan Furlong's Hop Ball

It's time for the clubs to take ownership of Wexford G.A.A.

The Football Coaching Officer, Peter Hally, has thrown a stone in the water and the ripples have flown ever since, washing up in every football area of this frustrated county in big ball terms.

Time will tell why Hally has decided to quit his Wexford post to take up the position of Games Development Officer with Laois G.A.A. How much further can Wexford football fall?

We will know down the line whether Hally's plan aimed at bringing Wexford football to another level will ever be implemented, will lead to change, or will get bogged down in politics, but at least someone will take steps to address the county's current football woes on and off the field.

It's believed Hally had become quite frustrated with the football coaching set-up. The lack of a support base to implement his activities has been well documented from within, leading him to believe that the improved structures so necessary in the county that would help to halt the disastrous football slide would gather dust either through lack of funding or lack of the co-operation so necessary to have any plan implemented and brought to fruition.

Wexford has not won a Leinster Minor football title since 1969. The county's fall in football, despite having won promotion from Division 4 this year, is well documented, but hopes were high that improved under-age structures in the county could would help halt the disastrous slide.

The decision of Hally to move on, in the middle of summer when coaching is at its busiest period, is a severe blow to football in the county. Hally is reputed to be one of the top football coaches in the country, but when he tendered his resignation, no doubt following much soul-searching, it sent shock waves through the top echelons of the G.A.A. in the county.

Personal reasons may be advanced as an explanation for his decision, but it's well known that Hally had become totally frustrated in trying to implement his role over recent months, leading him to seek pastures new.

It's yet another blow to Wexford football which already is at an all-time low. The Tipperary man caught the County Board executive unawares when he tendered his resignation. It was a surprise, the top table weren't expecting this, and no doubt, privately they will have been seething. Quite frankly, given where Wexford football stands right now, this is not good enough, and should not have been allowed to develop.

Wexford's football crisis needs to be discussed in an open forum, not behind closed doors. County Board officers with the support of others believe in the adage 'out of sight, out mind' it seems. Again, being frank, it's not good enough by those charged with overseeing and running the G.A.A. in the county.

They have a responsibility to the clubs, their members and supporters to address this footballing problem openly and honestly, and to exhaust all avenues in finding solutions so that Wexford G.A.A. can plan for the future.

The County Board may be an easy target in the current climate, and while they can't be blamed for everything, a lot of trails lead back to their door.

Too many figures have held too many positions for far too long, and they have cast a shadow over the county and divided it in two, hurling and football, and also those in support of the board and those who aren't.

For example, how can Wexford County Board move forward while holding their meetings behind closed doors? Club delegates are losing interest with the lack of detailed discussion at meetings, not to mention the obvious issue of having clubs and their supporters oblivious to what is actually happening in Wexford G.A.A.

A problem that exists is that clubs are only interested in their own welfare and not that of the county. They're looking after number one, and you can see the merit in that too, but it will be to every club's detriment if the current Wexford County Board practice of behind closed doors meetings isn't halted.

Clubs need to make their voices heard, they need to be more vocal at board meetings, they need to be willing to stand up to the board, and fight for their club and county.

'Yes men' will only hold Wexford G.A.A. back.

Wexford People

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