Keegan goes full-time
Wexford Youths officials have illustrated their commitment to being as well prepared as possible for the club's first-ever SSE Airtricity Premier Division campaign by rewarding manager Shane Keegan with a two-year full-time contract.
The Laois man will take up the role on Thursday and will then be able to devote all of his time to preparing for the historic first game in the top flight at home to Longford Town on Friday, March 4.
Keegan will be leaving his job in the advertising department of the Leinster Leader newspaper which is based in Naas, Co. Kildare. And the manager, who lives in Rathdowney, is also in the middle of his Master's in Coaching and Performance Science at UCD, leaving him with a busy schedule at all times.
Keegan has re-signed another two players from last year's squad in the shape of Craig Wall and Jonny Bonner respectively.
Kilkenny man Wall, a member of the Irish Defence Forces, has been with the club since 2011 and made 25 appearances last season.
Bonner, a Donegal native and I.T. Carlow student, spent the first half of the 2015 campaign with the club, playing in twelve games before moving home.
The signings mean that Keegan has assembled a squad of 18 to date for the inaugural Premier Division campaign: Graham Doyle, Matthew Connor, Craig McCabe, Ryan Delaney, Gary Delaney, Lee Grace, Aidan Friel, Craig Wall, Peter Higgins, Andy Mulligan, Danny Ledwith, Eric Molloy, Shane Dunne, Jonny Bonner, Danny Furlong, Conor English, Aidan Keenan, Paul Murphy.
Meanwhile, two Wexford Youths Women received a new-year boost on Wednesday when Republic of Ireland national team manager Sue Ronan named her squad of 21 to travel to America in the coming week.
There is a welcome return for defender Jessica Gleeson who made her debut at this level against the U.S.A. last May, and she is joined by Ciara Rossiter who was also part of the squad for the side's last outing at home to Spain in November.
Two more Youths players who featured in that last squad will not be involved on this occasion. Attacker Claire O'Riordan is replaced by Megan Connolly who enjoyed a successful first season with Florida State University, while striker Carol Breen is in the process of emigrating to Australia and will be a big loss to the club.
Ireland will play the U.S.A. in San Diego on Saturday, January 23, before meeting their Under-23 team behind closed doors in Carson near Los Angeles on Monday. They will head to the Cyprus Cup in March for four games before resuming the Euro 2017 qualifying campaign away to Montenegro and Spain in April.