Thursday 23 March 2017

New boss Dunne looks to local heroes for inspiration

Liam Dunne. Photo: Sportsfile
Liam Dunne. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Liam Dunne will call on his Wexford hurlers to draw inspiration from the many other sports people who have done the county proud in recent years in an effort to drag themselves back up the ladder.

Dunne name-checked boxing coach Billy Walsh, Wolves and Ireland soccer star Kevin Doyle and promising swimmer Grainne Murphy as examples of sporting inspiration from Wexford on a national and international stage.

He accepted that the Wexford hurlers had fallen steadily from grace and that there was "only one way we can go and that's up."

Dunne was the choice of the committee headed up by former manager Liam Griffin and after securing a third successive county title with Oulart-The Ballagh, there really was only one candidate they were looking at.

With a match against Kilkenny champions James Stephens to prepare for last Sunday, the Wexford committee decided not to place Dunne's name in the public domain until that fixture was completed.

"I had the job for a number of weeks, but with a county final coming up against Rathnure and preparing to take on the Kilkenny champions, our focus was on that," he said.

champions

"Now we have the Laois champions in Wexford Park on Sunday, so we're looking to that.

He added: "It's a big job with Oulart and to be honest, Wexford is on the long finger."

Dunne had gone to the local papers as early as September to try and distance himself from the position but once the three-in-a-row with Oulart-The Ballagh was completed, he couldn't turn it down.

And Dunne will start making plans in the next couple of weeks when he sits down with county board officials.

"I'll be sitting down with the incoming chairman in a couple of weeks time. It starts from then," he said.

"We've a serious game on Sunday and that's the main priority. I know the appointment is made, but I'm around long enough to know you can't take your eye off the ball.

"The hurlers have been down for a few years. But you have to look wider than that and look no further than Billy Walsh and Grainne Murphy and Kevin Doyle, great Wexford people, great ambassadors to be proud of. The hurlers have to come up to the mark."

He added: "I hope the people at the convention put in the right man when it comes to it, because this county is going to have to be led by that chairman and I hope I can make a contribution to that."

Dunne has impressed as manager of Oulart over the last three years and has driven his players to extraordinary lengths, which they now hope will translate to the Wexford dressing room.

Irish Independent

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