Friday 19 January 2018

Power seeks extra gear

Football boss confident of forging a win

Brendan Furlong

Wexford captain Brian Malone with his injured Kildare counterpart, Eoin Doyle, at the championship launch
Wexford captain Brian Malone with his injured Kildare counterpart, Eoin Doyle, at the championship launch

Wexford manager David Power is confident that his team can find that extra gear when it comes to championship football.

In a season where few if any sides are given a real chance of dethroning Dublin, Wexford start out on a new campaign of their own, with the Tipperary man at the helm for the second successive year.

Last season they lost their provincial opener to Westmeath and bounced back to shock Down in the qualifiers, only to lose out away to Derry at the next time of asking.

In a year where Wexford were left bitterly disappointed at failing to bounce back with promotion from Division 4, Power and his players have long since put that setback behind them.

'It did hurt not to have won promotion from Division 4. We won five of our seven matches but lost out to Antrim, while our malfunctioning forwards did not help us in the promotion game with Louth which we lost narrowly.

'But we have now left all that behind us and concentrated on the championship and Kildare in our opener. It was tough to take at the time but we are now gearing up for championship football.

'It's good the way the lads have responded. They have prepared well, put in a huge effort. Now with P.J. (Banville), Daithí (Waters) and Ciarán (Lyng) back to full fitness their experience will be crucial. They bring so much to the game and it will be of great benefit to the younger players.'

Time will have helped Power and his squad. 'We have possibly one of the youngest teams in the championship. The players will have benefited from last year but time will not wait. We have to move up another step for Kildare. That is the challenge facing us right now but I'm confident the players will cope.

'It's great to be playing in Croke Park. The players will enjoy the experience and embrace the whole occasion. With a firm sod and the wide spaces of Croke Park, I expect the players to enjoy it.

'The firm sod will suit them as the players like to play the ball quickly and utilise the open spaces. That is why the firm sod and Croke Park will suit us. It's a challenge that the players will embrace.'

Power is quite happy with the squad's preparation. 'The training has been good, the players have put in a huge effort.

'We played Galway last weekend and coped very well. We played some great football while we have also defeated Sligo in another challenge.

'The serious work has been done but now we must put our heads down and look ahead.

'We have lost both Naomhan (Rossiter) and Michael (O'Regan) through injury, but we have alternatives for the defence. It's disappointing for them to lose out after so much preparation but now it's some other players' opportunity.'

For Wexford it's now all about confidence. 'The players are showing very well in training. They are a quality, confident bunch of young players. We will carry our own confidence into the game.

'While Kildare will pose a huge challenge we are confident of producing a result. We will be aiming to stay with them.

'Should we be with them entering the final quarter I'm confident of gaining a victory,' he added.

Wexford People

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