Sunday 18 August 2019

Murphy bemoans the lack of desire

Six players didn't answer county call

Wexford manager Seamus Murphy has expressed disappointment with the response of some players to his call to assist the county ahead of this Wednesday evening's Leinster Intermediate hurling championship final with Galway at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise (7.30pm).

As many as six players expressed little interest in donning the purple and gold colours which was bemoaned by the Rathnure clubman.

'Some players don't have any desire to put on an inter-county jersey. It's a pity they don't have that desire to wear the purple and gold jersey,' stressed Murphy, who stepped into the managerial role as the result of an illness to manager Larry Doyle, who guided the county to provincial success last year in this grade.

'When Larry had a health problem I was asked to step in. Gladly, Larry's health is improving, but I looked upon it as an honour to be asked to manage the team. It's a call I really could not turn down,' added Murphy.

And the indifference shown by some players did not deter Murphy from getting behind the set-up. One of the most experienced managers in the county, the Rathnure clubman did, howeve, feel that this is a job to be combined with the Senior squad.

'When I was Senior manager, I also had the intermediate set-up, and we enjoyed success.

'This is ideal for Senior management, as they are able to include the extended Senior squad in preparations, while also being in a position to call on Under-21 players on the fringe of the Senior squad.

'That's the way it should go. It would be far more beneficial for hurling as there is no need for so many managers. It would also be better for the players,' he added.

Murphy was unable to announce his side until after training last night (Monday), but he is confident that some of the Senior football squad will now be available for inclusion.

'Three to four players with the Senior footballers are eligible for inclusion in the squad. We'll be having a look at the final training session but it looks as if no Under-21 players will be forthcoming for inclusion,' he said.

Despite the obstacles, Murphy has been able to undertake a string of challenge games against such sides as Cork, Waterford and a number of club sides.

'We have put in an amount of preparation but unfortunately never had a full squad. Liam (Dunne) has used up to 28 players, leaving very little from the extended squad.

'We went to see Galway play Kilkenny in their semi-final. They dished out a heavy defeat, looking quite impressive. They also pick their second-best team, leaving them looking very strong.

'They are a very big team physically, while they are also all quality hurlers. They looked a hugely impressive outfit. It's a daunting task ahead of us,' added Murphy, who said the westerners are also prospering from being under Senior manager Anthony Cunningham and his Senior set-up.

The opportunity now presents itself for a number of Wexford players to push their hurling claims which doesn't come around too often for many, particularly game time at inter-county level.

Murphy and his selectors have still trawled around the clubs in search of players, but he is not prepared to dwell on what might have been.

Niall Breen, Tomás Waters and Joe Kelly from the Senior set-up will be included, while other familiar names in the squad will be James Breen, Tommy Dwyer, Jamie Reck, Tomás O'Leary, Michael O'Regan, James Tonks, John Leacy, Shane O'Gorman, Brendan Mulligan, Jim Berry and Tomás Mahon.

Murphy is now hoping that the defence of their provincial title will energise the players.

'It's good to have a blend of youth and experience as it can bring energy to the squad. While Galway will have the benefit of a game, we are hoping that our preparations will stand to us.

'It's a huge task but we'll quickly find out the challenge ahead of us as this is a fine Galway outfit,' Murphy noted.

The winners tomorrow will qualify directly for the All-Ireland final against Cork who defeated Limerick by 0-20 to 0-18 last week to retain their Munster title, a significant achievement given that none of last year's players were available to them after they beat Wexford in Nowlan Park in August to claim national honours.

Wexford People

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