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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Wexford FC face Cabinteely in league opener

Dave Devereux

Wexford FC manager Damian Locke
Wexford FC manager Damian Locke

Wexford FC will begin their 2018 First Division campaign on Friday, February 13, with a trip to Stradbook to face Cabinteely, the first of 27 league games.

Last season was all about consolidation and building for the future at Ferrycarrig Park, and while Wexford struggled to get wins on the board they did improve slightly as a difficult season wore on.

They can take some crumbs of comfort from the fact that, after spending long periods at the foot of the table, they managed to overhaul Athlone Town and finish second from bottom in the First Division.

Their biggest problem was unquestionably a lack of a cutting edge, scoring a paltry 16 goals from their 28 league games, an issue that will certainly have to be addressed if they are to make a greater impact this campaign.

The fact that midfielder Thomas Croke was top scorer with six goals tells its own story, and they need a striker who can find the back of the net with some sort of regularity this season.

With the reintroduction of the promotion play-offs, finishing in the top four would be the ambition of most clubs, but realistically after the travails of last season a mid-table position would be a decent return for a young Wexford squad.

The Slaneysiders will be hoping for increased stability off the field, as they adopt a community focussed model, with the Wexford Supporters Trust taking ownership of the club. Getting the public on board is key to a bright future and seeing more bodies coming through the turnstiles would be a massive boost to the players.

They haven't made any moves in the transfer market to date, but have announced last season's top scorer Thomas Croke will remain at the club, as well as new club captain Ross Kenny, Dean Kelly, Mikey Byrne, Conor Sutton, Owen McCormack, Seán Hurley, Danny Doyle and Dean George, as well as goalkeeper Danny Bolger, giving them a solid base to build from.

League fixtures

Friday, February 13: Cabinteely v. Wexford FC.

Friday, March 2: Wexford FC v. UCD.

Saturday, March 10: Longford Town v. Wexford FC.

Friday, March 16: Wexford FC v. Drogheda United.

Friday, March 23: Finn Harps v. Wexford FC.

Friday, March 30: Wexford FC v. Shelbourne.

Friday, April 6: Wexford FC v. Cobh Ramblers.

Friday, April 13: Galway United v. Wexford FC.

Friday, April 20: Wexford FC v. Athlone Town.

Friday, April 27: UCD v. Wexford FC.

Friday, May 4: Wexford FC v. Cabinteely.

Friday, May 11: Wexford FC v. Longford Town.

Friday, May 18: Drogheda United v. Wexford FC.

Friday, May 25: Wexford FC v. Finn Harps.

Friday, June 1: Shelbourne v. Wexford FC.

Friday, June 8: Cobh Ramblers v. Wexford FC.

Friday, June 15: Wexford FC v. Galway United.

Friday, June 29: Athlone Town v. Wexford FC.

Friday, July 6: Cabinteely v. Wexford FC.

Friday, July 13: Wexford FC v. UCD.

Saturday, July 21: Longford Town v. Wexford FC.

Friday, July 27: Wexford FC v. Drogheda United.

Friday, August 3: Finn Harps v. Wexford FC.

Friday, August 17: Wexford FC v. Shelbourne.

Friday, August 31: Wexford FC v. Cobh Ramblers.

Friday, September 14: Galway United v. Wexford FC.

Saturday, September 22: Wexford FC v. Athlone Town.

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