Joint-captain Lee Chin has called on Wexford to give the ‘complete performance’ against Kilkenny this weekend after showing only glimpses of their true ability so far.
The 2017 Leinster finalists can return to the provincial decider if they beat Kilkenny at Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.
Attacker Chin said they’re treating it as a ‘do-or-die’ affair and has claimed that it will take their best display of 2019 to record victory.
Boss Davy Fitzgerald said after Wexford’s opening day draw with Dublin that for 20 minutes or so in the second-half they were untouchable, claiming that ‘I don’t think any team would catch us if we played with that intensity’ throughout.
“Against Dublin, I feel we only played for patches of the game, against Galway we rallied at the very end and against Carlow we started strong and then we put in a strong performance in the second-half,” said Chin. “I think it’s going to take a complete performance to get over the line. We’re going to have to stay in the game, throughout.”
Chin hopes Wexford are on an upward curve and Fitzgerald’s decision to give them a longer winter break last year with a view to peaking later in the season will pay off.
Wexford finished the 2018 season with a tame All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Clare and Fitzgerald admitted they looked fatigued.
“We come back a few weeks later this year,” said Chin. “It had been a long two years that we’d been on the road since Davy has been down with us. He decided he wanted to try to freshen things up a small bit.”
Asked if he believes it’ll pay off in the coming weeks, Chin said: “I’m hoping so. This year I do feel fresher. Sometimes freshness can be disguised as fitness but when you feel fresher, you feel fitter automatically.”
Chin is aware too that if Wexford lose to their old rivals, and if Dublin beat Galway elsewhere, then Wexford will miss out on a top three place and their summer will be over.
Another scenario is they could lose yet still finish in third, providing Dublin lose to Galway.
Chin said he doesn’t want to progress by the latter means and hopes his own strong form can inspire a famous win.
The 26-year-old admitted his form dipped in 2018 and at one stage during their provincial games he escaped for a couple of days to relax and recharge in Fitzgerald’s Sixmilebridge home.
“I’m definitely more settled this year, I’ve more confidence this year,” he said.
“I’ve to some degree shown a level of consistency in my performances and that’s all any player can really hope for.”
Nominated for an All-Star in 2016 and 2017, in the forwards and then in midfield, Chin acknowledged he possibly tried too hard for improvement in 2018.
“I think that can sometimes be a player’s downfall, sometimes when things aren’t going right there are certain individuals that will try harder and it will go against them,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s best just to ease off and take a bit of a break, hence why I went down to Clare for a day or two last year.
“I just think this year I’m a bit more settled in regard to my positioning, where I’m playing, in a more central role. I just think a bit of momentum and a bit of form came my way this year.”
Meanwhile, the Club Players Association (CPA) has backed the GAA’s establishment of a Fixtures Calendar Review Task Force.
According to the CPA, the new group ‘has both an onerous job and an unprecedented opportunity to accomplish real change’.
“Every GAA player is a club player first and foremost and they deserve a meaningful programme of fixtures to play the games they love,” stated the CPA. “The CPA has undertaken a significant volume of work on fixture analysis and in modelling calendar options.”
Lee Chin’s Faythe Harriers club in Wexford are offering the chance to win a brand new home in Maynooth, Co Kildare, in a bumper draw.
The three-bedroom, semi-detached home is in Carton Wood and is valued at €405,000. Tickets are priced at €100 each and can be bought at winthehouse.ie. The draw will take place on December 31, 2019