Wexford boss Darragh Egan wants to see the return of the maor foirne

Echoing the sentiments of Limerick boss John Kiely, Egan says the absence of a running selector has caused major issues for team managements
Wexford boss Darragh Egan wants to see the return of the maor foirne

LAUNCH: Wexford senior hurlers and footballers Mark Fanning, Eoin Porter, Darragh Brooks and Rory O’Connor model the new commemorative jersey launched by Wexford GAA and O’Neill’s to mark 130 years since the county’s first All-Ireland success: the 1893 All-Ireland Football title won by the Selskar Young Irelands club from Wexford town. Pic: Diarmuid Greene.

Wexford senior hurling manager Darragh Egan wants to see the return of the maor foirne role for next season.

Echoing the sentiments of John Kiely, Egan says the absence of a running selector has caused major issues for team managements.

It is understood GAA chiefs are currently debating the possibility of the position coming back on a restricted basis and Tipperary native Egan said: “It’s something I’d massively support, to be honest. Of course, there has to be rules and parameters that have to be adhered to. But match day is becoming extremely difficult and rigid.

“I even see with my own club, Kiladangan. It was just massively frustrating, but I think the maor foirne, if they abide by the rules and the parameters that are put in place… and I think at inter-county level that is usually adhered to.

“I know we had an incident five or six years ago (then Dublin selector Greg Kennedy’s Leinster SHC round pitch incursion v Kilkenny) but it is usually adhered to. It is a loss on match day. Match days are so loud, so difficult to get messages across.

“It’s so tough on officials, you see sideline officials trying to focus on their job and also trying to apply all these rules. You have earpieces on the far side of that… hurley carriers and so on. There is an issue one day and there’s one another day.

“There’s a few grey areas there. They need to just make a call on it now and stick with it. Again, if it doesn’t come back we’ll be able to manage. But there definitely is a benefit in having a maor foirne on match day.” 

Wexford won all five of their league round games last year and while Egan insists they will be going out to do the same next season, he will be rotating the panel more ahead of the start of the Leinster SHC in late April.

“Our approach to the league this year (season) will be slightly different because we need to be firing once April 22 comes. Last year we were probably stuttering into April 15 after getting a bit of a trimming from Waterford in a league semi-final.” 

He added: “We will be looking at different lads this year. We’ll be changing up in different areas of the pitch. But ultimately we’re in a brilliant group for the League; we have Galway, we have Clare, we have Cork, we have Westmeath and we have Limerick. So we have some top notch games.

“I see now the league final is fixed for the weekend of April 8-9. That gives you two weeks until you’re in Leinster. Just say you didn’t make a league final, and you’re even bet in the semi-final of the league, that’s March 26 and you’re not playing again until the 22nd. That’s a lovely little window to get a bit of work.” 

Wexford have had four training sessions since returning to collective on-field activity at the end of last month. Kevin Foley and Shane Reck are training while Damien Reck and Lee Chin are to attend their first sessions on Thursday having returned from travels. Joe O’Connor is also available next season.

Egan spent some time in Kenya recently on Alan Kerins’ charity trip where he spent time with several inter-county players planting trees. Their approach to travelling these days is a lot different to what it was for inter-county hurlers in his playing career.

“Before, myself and Shane McGrath went travelling in 2012, which is 10 years ago now, and it was heavy going for two or three months. Out and partying and going from different islands around Asia and moving around the whole time.

“Whereas now lads seem to be going to Bali for a month and they’re doing various boot camps, they’re doing a yoga retreat for a week and they’re coming back in unbelievable condition and they’re just freshening up the bodies. I suppose the inter-county player has changed over time and it’s more of a freshening exercise now than a month of craic and galivanting, really.” 

* Darragh Egan was speaking at the launch of a new Wexford commemorative jersey in honour of the Selskar Young Irelands clubs from Wexford town who won the county’s first senior All-Ireland 130 years ago.

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