Tuesday 17 September 2019

Manager says 'No man bigger than the team'

Dunne comments on Guiney saga after crushing defeat

Liam Dunne congratulates his Kilkenny counterpart, Brian Cody, after Sunday's humiliating loss
Liam Dunne congratulates his Kilkenny counterpart, Brian Cody, after Sunday's humiliating loss

Manager Liam Dunne claims that Jack Guiney can be one of the top hurlers, not just in Wexford but in the country, should he apply himself.

Wexford lined out in Sunday's rout by Kilkenny without their 22-year-old attacker who had earlier in the week been axed for disciplinary reasons.

His presence was never going to alter the result, but Dunne has still held the door slightly ajar for the Rathnure clubman.

'You want your best players playing all the time,' said the Wexford manager.

'The player in question has the potential to be one of the best players in Ireland, let alone Wexford. But you have to treat everyone the same.

'If you have 33 guys in a panel rowing the one way with you, and one isn't, then you have to make decisions and tough calls. I am just hoping the short-term pain for that player will be long-term gain for Wexford.

'We set standards and it is up to a guy to do whatever he wants to do. You are expecting 33 or 34 players on a panel to row one way behind you.

'Guys have a choice and they are amateur players. If a guy wants to row in behind us, he does it, and if he doesn't, then he moves aside and lets someone else do it.

'I always want my best players available to me at all times, but no man is bigger than the team,' Dunne added.

One thing is for sure, Wexford have another huge game ahead of them on Saturday week, a home draw against Cork in the qualifiers.

When these sides met in the league quarter-final in Páirc Uí Rinn, Wexford dominated the opening half, but allowed Cork to creep back in the second period to emerge victorious.

This qualifier game will serve as a massive test of Wexford's character. It looked like the county was moving in the right direction until this merciless beating against the reigning All-Ireland champions.

Wexford, and no one close to the team, would have been expecting their championship to be over in early July, but that is the scenario facing the team right now if they can't up their game.

Wexford will face a different challenge in Cork. It will not be the same high pressure game utilised by Kilkenny, but still they face a Rebel county hurting from their Munster elimination at the hands of Waterford.

Kilkenny ran riot, so one can expect some tweaking in Liam Dunne's team for this all-important game, and a gameplan will be needed to wrestle the initiative away from Jimmy Barry Murphy's charges.

There were many tremors felt down Wexford way in the wake of the Kilkenny defeat. Supporters are still struggling to work out how Wexford ended up in that predicament last Sunday, but there is more to this defeat than meets the eye. It will be difficult to recover from this as this side has falled some way from the highs of last year's qualifiers.

Kilkenny ran away from them but now the real battle is facing the side to secure the future of Wexford hurling. It's another daunting challenge, and the big question being asked is: 'can Wexford step up to the plate?'

Only time will tell.

Wexford People

Most Read