Women's boss stepping aside
Laura Heffernan leaves Youths
Wexford Youths Women are looking for a new management team after boss Laura Heffernan stepped down following a meeting of her staff, players and club officials at the end of last week.
The news was first announced by the boss herself, when she released a statement on her Twitter account on Saturday morning, seven days after the Ferrycarrig Park side claimed their third Continental Tyres Women's National League title in four seasons.
'It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I have decided to step away from my role with Wexford Youths Women,' Heffernan said.
'Following an end of season review it was quite clear that the players, club and management have very different views on the best way forward for 2018.
'This isn't a decision I have taken lightly by any means but the welfare of the club is more important than my personal progression. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff involved last season for their commitment and look forward to working with you all again sometime in the future #WillAlwaysBeChamps2017'
The club then followed with a statement: 'It has been a fantastic season for Wexford Youths WFC culminating in an unforgettable night at Ferrycarrig Park last Saturday, as we clinched our 3rd Continental Tyres Women's National League in 4 years.
'We would like to thank all players, management, families, volunteers and supporters connected with the squad for contributing to such a memorable season.
'However, following an end of season review and initial discussions around the 2018 season, our manager Laura Heffernan has advised us of her decision not to continue in the role.
'The club would like to thank Laura and her management team for a fantastic contribution to the team's success and wish her nothing but the best for her future in football.
'The process to find a new manager will commence immediately.'
In truth, the league champions had ended a turbulent season with a hard-earned title but the pressure had been squarely on the Wexford boss for some time. It is understood that her appointment wasn't universally met with full approval within a group of players that knew her well.
They were put in a difficult position by the club hierarchy, but things might have settled down had it looked good on the pitch. However, negative tactics, players playing out of position and insipid football meant Heffernan was fighting a losing battle from early in the season. It was noticeable that the players were not thanked in her statement.
With the Champions League to look forward to in August, and a fully fit squad of players available, Wexford Youths will now go in search of a new boss. A UEFA 'B' coaching licence is usually the minimum requirement for a managerial position in the WNL.
The early front runner will likely be Will Doyle, who led the team to a treble in his last season in the hot seat. It's understood that he would be a popular choice amongst many of the players.
There are question marks over his availability, given that he quit the position for family reasons in 2016 and is currently involved at national level, with the Under-15 boys.