Wexford expecting a tough derby in Carlow
Wexford are prepared for a very tough Oscar Traynor Trophy quarter-final game away to Carlow this Wednesday evening in the Carlow I.T. complex, with the game kicking off at 7.30 p.m.
After last weekend's fixtures, manager John Godkin is hopeful for a clean bill of health, although Gareth McCurtin of Corach Ramblers is very doubtful and Robin Dempsey of North End United is unavailable for selection.
Other than this the squad will be very similar to the one that played Mayo. Both Adam Beary and Keith Kearney returned for a practice game last week in Arklow, so they will be hopeful of being included in the squad.
A lot of others who had not received much competitive action to date also played. Seán Culleton, Aaron Kehoe and Conor Bruce all showed up well, however it will be difficult to see wholesale changes after the impressive win over Mayo.
This game is a local derby and Carlow, under Paul Dowling's leadership, will be a very tough nut to crack.
They will be backboned by club sides Crettyard, Hanover Harps and New Oak, and Wexford will have to be at their very best to reach the last four in the country.
Wexford have been impressive in their two games to date in the competition, firstly coming back from a goal down to see off the Athletic Union League 2-1 with goals from Gareth McCurtin and Shane Dempsey last November.
In the last 16 clash against the Mayo Football League last month they lifted their performance levels again as they overwhelmed the westerners 4-0 with a solid display all over the park.
Early goals from Gary Delaney and Kyle Dempsey set the tone that day and they never relinquished their grip on the game, with Robin Dempsey and Gareth McCurtin adding to their tally in the second-half.
A repeat performance could well see Wexford through to the semi-finals, but manager John Godkin is not getting carried away.
'It's a tough game because it's a local derby. The last time we played each other at this stage of the competition it went all the way to penalties and it was a tough game. All the players know each other really well from playing each other regularly at club level so it will be tough from that perspective. I'm expecting a really tough encounter but I'm hoping we'll have enough quality to get us through,' he said.
Meanwhile, the Wexford Football League Under-18s are also in action at the weekend as they face a crunch FAI Youth Inter-League Cup tie against Cork in Ringmahon Park on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Both sides have a win and a draw to their name in their two group games to date, with Wexford beating Limerick 3-0 and drawing 2-2 with Waterford, while Cork overcame the Shannonsiders 4-0 and drew 0-0 with Waterford.