'We have won nothing yet' warns Wexford's Lee Chin
Chin keeping cool after igniting Wexford hurlers
Published 22/07/2014 | 02:30
Wexford footballers' loss is the hurlers' gain as Lee Chin goes from strength to strength with Liam Dunne's team.
Chin has forged a powerful, pacey, midfield partnership with David Redmond and with every match on this roller-coaster ride through the All-Ireland qualifiers, the decision to opt solely for the hurlers is paying dividends for all concerned.
Manager Dunne, who said last year that he considered Chin a better hurler than he was a footballer, has the benefit of the Faythe Harriers clubman focusing his concentration solely on the hurling team.
Chin has also been rewarded with a key role in helping to restore Wexford's pride as they rise out of the doldrums.
Saturday night's victory over Waterford at Nowlan Park confirmed the Slaneyside hurlers as a side to be reckoned with, and they face another big challenge against Limerick on Sunday.
For Chin, there's no question of dismissing or disrespecting the football aspect of his talent.
You sense when talking to him that, if it were possible, he would still be a dual player but, when the crunch came, hurling was the winner.
"I'm not going to keep going back to it, but hurling is what I want to do and that's that.
"Obviously I felt sorry for the footballers this year and the way they got put out.
"A few things didn't go their way, but I'm glad I'm here to help the hurlers keep progressing in what they are doing. Hopefully we can keep going," he said.
Sunday and yesterday were all about recovery, with some salt water therapy at the seaside part of the routine as the Wexford back-room team and players began preparations for Limerick.
"We haven't really got bogged down too much (with Limerick). We didn't really think too far ahead yet, we just concentrated on getting over Clare and then Waterford.
"We're not going to get too high at the moment. We're obviously going to take a lot of confidence from a bit of momentum going our way, but we won't get too over the top at the moment.
"We haven't won any silverware yet. It's a great achievement for us to get to an All-Ireland quarter-final. We haven't been in one since 2008, and Limerick is all that we will be focusing on now," said Chin.
An ear-splitting roar greeted the final whistle at Nowlan Park on Saturday night as the huge cohort of Wexford fans acclaimed a second major victory in seven days.
After the match, fans queued for autographs and photographs and the atmosphere was buoyant with smiles, back-slaps, 'well dones' and a glow of happiness.
Limerick will be waiting to burst that bubble. The beaten Munster finalists will be wary of the momentum that Wexford have garnered but Chin knows well that further improvement is needed by Dunne's men if they are to get the better of the Shannonsiders.
"We have played three games now three weeks in a row – three very, very tough games, and two of them against Clare which brought us to extra-time.
"This game will tell us where we are in terms of our fitness and physicality. It will really tell us where we are mentally.
"We are really just looking forward to the game and focusing on getting the recovery right for this week," said Chin.
When the question was asked if Saturday night was Chin's best game in a Wexford jersey, his first reaction was to put the game and the occasion in context.
"It was a great game and great to be involved in, and a fantastic atmosphere. The following we got was immense and we really appreciate every bit of help to get us over the line.
"It was a very enjoyable game to be involved in and I would definitely put it up there with one of the best games that I have played," he said.
One of the main sources of encouragement for Wexford is that they are creating goal chances and taking a good proportion of them. Every goal in such a tight game is important, but last Saturday, Chin's midfield partner David Redmond got a key score five minutes after half-time.
Chin felt it was something of a clincher, even though there was so much time left to play.
"There was a little bit of wind there and it was a great pass again from Jack Guiney. He did the same last week (v Clare), a ball to Harry Kehoe, and this week it was to David Redmond, and he ran through and finished it, cool as you like.
"There's obviously stuff to be learned every day we go out, and we learned a lot against Waterford. It is a young team, but there's a lot of heart and spirit, and a lot of wise heads on young shoulders," he said.