Wexford hurling star Lee Chin has described his return to League of Ireland soccer as a ‘total curve ball’ that came ‘out of the blue’.
The 23-year old has agreed to team up with relegation-threatened Wexford Youths for the rest of the season.
They have six games to make up the four-point gap currently separating them from Premier Division safety though remaining in their current position would guarantee them a play-off.
Chin, who powered Wexford to a historic Championship win over Cork in July, played for Waterford Utd in 2011 and looks set to play a central defensive role for his local side.
Injuries at the club mean Chin could play some part tomorrow night against Bray Wanderers.
“Soccer was a big part of my life as a child and I played for a while with Waterford United but I missed the GAA and the hurling too much,” said Chin. “I decided to come back and play for Wexford and that basically eliminated soccer for me. I never thought I’d go back.
“Then when Shane Keegan gave me the phone call it was very surprising. It was a total curve ball, to be honest, came totally out of the blue.
“I took a while to think about it and to consider it. I said to myself, sure I’m finished with the club and not doing anything for the next month or six weeks. Why not? Deep down, I’m surprised Shane had the faith in me to ask but I’m going to give it my best shot.”
The Carlow IT student said he isn’t sure if he’ll be pitched straight into the team or if he’s viewed as defensive cover.
“I can’t really answer that one, it’s totally Shane’s call,” he continued. “If I impress him over the next few weeks I presume I’ll feature somehow. I just hope that I can contribute in some way, even if it’s a case of boosting morale, whatever I can do.
“I played right full-back with Waterford United but I think Shane has a plan for me being in more of a central role. We’ll have to see how that pans out. I suspect he might be looking for a bit of a brute in that position and he thought of me.”
Chin showed his flexibility and ability to switch codes at short notice in 2013 when he performed a dual role for the Wexford seniors. On one particular occasion he dashed home from Armagh, and made it just in time for the start of a hurling game that Wexford were hosting.
“My thinking really is that I’m at an age where I can give something like this a go and see how it works out,” continued Chin.
“I’m going to enjoy the challenge and whatever occasions I’m involved in. It’s going to be the highest level of football I’ve played at in my life so it’ll be a step up for sure. I’m fully aware I’m coming into a group that have been together all season and that I haven’t earned my way into it, the manager just sees something in me. But I can’t do much more than give it my best.”
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