Scalder takes a critical look at where Wexford go from today.
A seriously tough day to be a Wexford GAA supporter with both our hurlers and footballers slumping to crushing defeats. The sense of dejection in Wexford Park today after as the hurlers lost was unbelievable, supporters were shell shocked and left wondering where to from here. This came on top of the news from Galway where the footballers were beaten 0-11 to 1-16 after a second half collapse.
Wexford have a problem, no point saying anything to the contrary. Now we can hang our heads , shrug our shoulders and accept it or we can stand up, take on the fight and turn the thing around.
We’ve been starved of underage success, our clubs have had little impact in the All Ireland Club competitions, and our schools have struggled. Do we have the ambition, the determination, the commitment, the plan and the patience needed to succeed?
Yes, the patience. Not easy to ask for this now and anger, frustration, hurt are understandable reactions, but it will take time and effort if we are to change our lot. Remember Dublin had to do this and are proof that hard work and smart planning will pay off.
We’ve nailed our colours to the dual mast and this means we need to be better than the single code counties to succeed, so people saying ‘just do what Kilkenny do’ need to realise the situations are different, we need a Wexford solution to a Wexford problem.
We need to see a significant increase in the number playing our games and for them to be playing at a higher level, our participation levels are not where they should be. We need our county development structures to be ‘best in class’ and they need to support the clubs who in turn need to link with their local schools.
In Diarmuid Deveraux we have a chairman who is not afraid to make changes and shake things up and we need to see him push through the reforms required with immediate effect. The new coaching plan is ambitious and has met some resistance; we need this to end and for everyone to fall in play their part in our recovery.
Looking at other results today and Clare lost by a single point to Kilkenny, it’s only a few years ago we were neck in neck with the Bannerman, similarly our near neighbours, Waterford top Division 1A today, recently our fortunes have seriously diverged from these counties, why is this? It’s just not good enough.
Folks as the line from the movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’ goes “it’s time to get busy living or get busy dying” and that’s prospect we face in Wexford. If you want to experience days like the one when Mick Jacob smashed the ball to the net in 2004 to beat Kilkenny or when Mattie sidestepped Francie Bellew to beat Armagh in the All Ireland Quarter final again, then we need to knuckle down, grit our teeth claw our way back out of this hole. No excuses, whatever needs to be done must be done.
Loch Garman abú.