independent

Friday 20 September 2019

Management trio going about work in the right manner

Brendan Furlong: Hop Ball

Wexford's new Senior manager, David Power, is determined to change the landscape of football in the county.He has shown his hand over a seven-day period with three O'Byrne Cup games, giving close on 40 players an opportunity to stake their claim for a place in the squad for the forthcoming National League campaign that opens with a game against Clare on the Atlantic coastline at Milltown Malbay..

It's interesting times in Wexford football but Power along with his management team of Mick Walsh and John Power have given real hope to players from the lesser-known clubs which in itself can only be good for the big ball game in the county.

There may be some way to go before Wexford settle on a squad that can become a serious force in football, but still what is happening now is quite intriguing.

At no stage over the past seven years, with the exception of Aidan O'Brien's two-year spell in charge, has one seen such an influx of young talent over a short period of time.

It may be a gamble, but this is a similar path as to that taken by his hurling counterpart Liam Dunne.

Some of it was enforced through retirements but when one sees the progress that hurling has made, one is confident that David Power and his team have the ability to bring football to a new place.

There is no doubt that it is going to take time for this young talent to mature. This is at least a three-year project with the benefits expected to be seen within that time frame.

Given the amount of young talent that was on display over the past seven days, Wexford football is sure to ultimately benefit from this project, which already is a work in progress.

The progress of the players will be carefully monitored. There will be no immediate burst into prominence, but Wexford's first objective will be to protect their Division 3 status, which will be a challenge in itself.

They will be targeting survival in a division that is as equally as competitive as Division 2 given the quality of sides that it contains, with counties like the Kieran McGeeney-managed Armagh, last year's beaten All-Ireland quarter-finalists, and Clare who created such an impact in Munster.

It may be termed Division 3 but one has only to look at the quality sides to see for oneself the challenge that is facing Wexford football. However, given the commitment and fitness levels shown by the players, it's one they are determined to meet head on to create their very own niche on the inter-county scene.

Such sides in Division 3 will test where Wexford football has progressed to. Home points will be crucial, while some away points are always vital too if they want to push into a promotion spot.

The O'Byrne Cup is a pre-season competition with the management team very much keeping their options open.

It is next month that the players will test themselves, so it would be nice to see the supporters come out for the home games which will prove of huge importance.

Right now it's about getting a new-look squad together. They have set about this in a meaningful and purposeful way.

The next logical step is to maintain Division 3 status. It is reasonable to suggest this can be achieved.

Power is quite happy with the progress to date. 'We have had three games and saw close to 40 players. It has been a hugely successful week with some good performances,' he said.

'I'm happy with the progress and the commitment shown by the players while their attitude has been top class.

'We have been finishing games strongly but when looking back we will be trying to eradicate the giving away of scores at crucial stages, while also upping our finishing.

'We have been inclined to give away scores at different stages, something we will be looking at.

'Last Sunday regards our attacking play we had 19 shots in the first-half but only converted nine.

'That's something we'll be aiming to improve upon and turn those chances into scores, but still 2-15 was a fine score.

'Regarding the squad we'll be keeping it open ended for the league. There will be some changes, with some players dropping out, but there will not be a lot of change,' he added.

Wexford hope to have a further two challenge games before their opening league game with Clare.

Wexford People