Injury woes mount for Under-21 boss
WEXFORD UNDER-21 hurling manager J. J. Doyle will be eyeing this weekend's club championship campaign with some trepidation as his injury list continues to mount.
With Wexford having qualified for an All-Ireland semi-final clash against Antrim on Saturday, August 24, a number of players look likely to miss the game.
Minor star Conor McDonald, who made his debut in the provincial final victory over Kilkenny, and who later played for the Senior side in their qualifier defeat to Clare, suffered a knee ligament injury in a mid-week Minor championship game and has been ruled out of competitive hurling for up to six weeks.
Also out of the game is provincial final goalscoring hero Niall Murphy. Introduced as a substitute in that game, the Crossabeg-Ballymurn clubman received an arm injury in a recent traffic accident which will keep him sidelined for six weeks.
To add to the growing injury list, defender Andrew Kenny was forced to retire with an ankle injury during Buffers Alley's Intermediate hurling win over Rathgarogue-Cushinstown at the weekend. The extent of the injury is not yet known but it's hoped that he will recover in time to make the semi-final.
However, HWH-Bunclody player Aidan Nolan is eyeing a return to the team. Recently returned from Australia, which saw him miss the provincial campaign, Nolan has been called into the squad for training over the past two weeks.
Given the dilemma facing Doyle and his backroom team, he will be pushing for inclusion in the attack. An outstanding Minor two years ago, the 20-year-old also had a run in Liam Dunne's Senior set-up before departing for Australia.
Also likely to come back into the reckoning is Diarmuid O'Keeffe who will be re-joining the panel after returning from his travels this week.
With another full round of club hurling games this weekend, it will be an anxious 48 hours for the Wexford manager.