Diarmuid Lyng has admitted he shared the same concerns as Davy Fitzgerald about Wexford almost being lost from the top level of hurling.
The Slaneysiders are reigning Leinster champions and All-Ireland title hopefuls with Galway first up for them in the provincial semi-finals later this year.
Lyng was captain of Wexford a decade ago when they similarly began the 2010 Championship against Galway though they lost heavily and then went down to Tipperary who shot 3-24 in a Round 1 qualifier.
Ex-colleague Darren Stamp stated recently that that period was “one of the worst times” in Wexford’s history and admitted it was “demoralising” playing at times.
Lyng departed after 2012 following a Leinster Championship defeat to Offaly and a Phase 3 qualifier exit and when Fitzgerald took over in late 2016 the new manager spoke of the county almost being lost from the top level.
“I didn’t have any issue with what Stamp said at all, I would have felt it myself,” said Lyng.
“I would also say that Davy Fitzgerald wasn’t far off with what he said. I would have felt that towards the end of my career for sure. We’d seen the resurgence of Dublin, we were looking at Offaly falling apart in front of our eyes and at times ourselves we had the potential to be not too far behind Offaly.
“Personally, I was very concerned about us. At times, we looked like we might not be going anywhere and that genuinely we could be lost from the game.
I think if things had fallen apart a small bit, they could have totally fallen apart. I felt we were on the precipice there for two or three years where if we’d slipped back it could have been really difficult to get back up.
“The footballers were going well around that time and let’s say we lost Lee Chin to them, he did actually play for them for a year, but let’s say the slide continued, no doubt we’d have lost him fully. And once you lose a Lee Chin then five or six more might follow.
“It was certainly a concern that was on my back when I left, for quite a while. Where would things go? It made the decision to leave that bit more difficult because I knew every shoulder was needed.
“Things weren’t happening for us at the time, thankfully it’s very much the opposite now. I would have liked to have come along now but you can’t change that, you play your part and you do your best while you’re there.”
Lyng, now based in Kerry with his young family, is currently featuring on TG4’s Kellogg’s Cúl Camps programmes, demonstrating yoga and mindfulness techniques to kids.
He said he found yoga late in his career and wishes he was aware of its benefits much earlier.
“The reality for me is that I’m more flexible and my body is more powerful now than it was when I was training seven days a week as a Wexford player,” he said. “You would have to have serious questions about why that is.
“You can have all the stoic 1970s man about you, you can say yoga is for girls and all of that but the way many county teams had been training it was all about the big mirror muscles.
“If you don’t develop the tendons and the joints around them, of course they’re going to give way to injuries. Some of the yogis that I see have incredible power in their bodies, it’s basically one big functional muscle. I really wish I’d come to it younger, I think I’d have had a far more enjoyable sporting career.”
- The GAA, in conjunction with Kellogg’s and TG4, is staging the 2020 Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps and it is being broadcast on TG4 each weekday for three weeks at 10.25am and repeated at 5.15pm from June 29 to July 17.