Deely, the new London football manager has cashed in a CV bolstered by a QPR backroom contract to manage the Exiles. And tomorrow, his young, developing team will line-up against a county their manager once captained.
“I’m looking forward to going back to play Wexford and meet some of my old teammates and a chance to see some of my family.
“Wexford Park is a very familiar environment for me and I’ll enjoy it in a very quiet and personal way. In terms of the team, this is simply another week, another game and we will remain focused.”
And it is a challenge for London and their manager. Gone is Paul Coggins the talismanic manager who led the Exiles to a first Connacht final in 2012.
And with him, established players who helped forge that experience like Declan Traynor, Greg Crowley and Stephen Curran.
In addition, the Exiles have lost their opening two league fixtures, away to Louth and at home to Carlow although they were competitive in both defeats.
Still, it makes you wonder what Deely has signed up for?
“I never viewed my career as starting in professional football, getting promoted with a team and continuing on.”
He said: “I’m definitely not leaving pro-football but I always felt if a different challenge came I’d take it.
“At QPR I was a sports scientist and with London I’m the manager and get to have more of a say; to put in more of my philosophy and I like that group of players.
“I admire them for taking on the challenge of living in a different country; a different city and I want to see them improve, train smart and see if we can think our way through games a little more.”
Deely combined his coaching role with QPR last season with a position on Coggins’ back-room team.
He left London in the late summer of 2015 to complete a four-month contract as fitness coach with the Kerala Blasters and returned to take up the London reigns in December.
Significantly, his Exiles squad is notable for the inclusion of an increased number of young players shaped by the capital’s GAA landscape like Sean Hickey, Gavin McEvoy and Liam Gavaghan, alongside more established ones like Adrian Moyles and Philip Butler.
“It’s going to be a big part of our philosophy to bring the home-grown lads through. These are the players who will make London sustainable and viable in the years to come,” said Deely.