Diarmuid Devereux predicts big improvement from Wexford hurlers

Wexford GAA chairman Diarmuid Devereux has promised a much- improved showing from the county’s senior hurling team in 2016 – and has urged the likes of Kildare and Meath to challenge Dublin’s dominance of the Leinster football championship.

Diarmuid Devereux predicts big improvement from Wexford hurlers

Devereux has also defended another heavy spend on Wexford inter-county teams this year, with figures released showing €806,373 was splashed out on preparing the various sides in 2015.

That’s a jump of €40,000 but comes in a year when the Wexford U21 hurlers completed the three-in-a-row in Leinster, while the county’s junior footballers claimed a provincial crown.

Elsewhere, financial figures for 2015 revealed a surplus of €821,375, a figure inclusive of various grants. Total income rose by over €200,000 to €2,317,628, with expenditure of €2,205,442 resulting in an operating profit of €112,186.

Locally, gate receipts fell by €40,000, a figure that isn’t causing any undue concern for Devereux. He said: “We’ll move to rectify that. I don’t know if we were hit by the Rugby World Cup or not but Oulart-the-Ballagh were back in the county final and we had a smaller attendance than the year before, when we had a novel final.

“The other thing that hit us is we went away from our season ticket scheme but we’re going back to that and we’ve already sold 100 of those for next year. They cost €130 before Christmas and €150 after that, and a buyer is entitled to access to all club games in the county from the start of the year to the very end.”

It’s the fourth year in a row Wexford have reported a financial surplus and Devereux wants to see the hard work off the pitch paying off on the field.

He predicted: “I think the hurlers will have a better year, they’ll improve and the footballers will box above their weight. The hurling doesn’t frighten me but it’s very hard in the football with Dublin. The likes of Wexford have to get better but Kildare and Meath should be well able to get up to that level.

“Meath have a magnificent football tradition and I just wonder if people have this fear of Dublin. They’ll get caught eventually.”

The opening of Wexford GAA’s centre of excellence in Ferns was the highlight of the year for Devereux, who has vowed county board officials will continue to spend big.

He added: “It cost us about €1.65m, superb value for money. All of our county teams are training there and we go into the New Year fielding a team in every competition – senior, junior, intermediate, U21, minor – dual teams in every competition.

“We have two U13 squads, four U14, four U15, four U16, U17, minor and two sets of combined colleges. If we could win an All-Ireland, it would cap it.”

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