independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Nolan love affair with Model back on track

Stephen Nolan

HE once hit the headlines for his unusual career choice – setting up a dating agency – but Stephen Nolan's romance with Wexford hurling has been rekindled and he returned to the county fold earlier this week.

Nolan has not played for Wexford since early 2009, but he has been operating at a high level since with top Dublin club Ballyboden St Enda's.

He only returned to Wexford training on Tuesday night, so is not expected to figure in tomorrow's Walsh Cup final against the Dubs.

But his return, and Wexford's early season form, indicates that manager Liam Dunne is willing to look at all options in his bid to return Wexford to their former glory.

Nolan has confirmed that he will continue to play for Ballyboden as he is still living in Dublin and running his dating business Kama Solutions.

"When I left Wexford before, I did it because I didn't think the set-up was great," he admitted.

"But I was always interested in going back and I have heard a lot of really good reports about Liam and the professionalism he has brought to it.

"I just turned 27 at Christmas so, hopefully, I still have something to offer."

Any pre-league success comes with a health warning which is why no one is getting too excited that Wexford have already beaten Offaly and Kilkenny in Leinster's secondary competition, but getting a run of competitive games under their belt already certainly looks encouraging for 2013.

Dunne has managed to produce a competitive side, despite fielding a pretty experimental team so far.

Young defensive star Matthew O'Hanlon, whose college studies have taken him to Madrid until May, is a big loss.

unavailable

Liam Og McGovern is about to undergo hip surgery and Diarmuid O'Keeffe (travelling) and Stephen Banville (study commitments) are also unavailable.

Of the Oulart crew, Keith Rossiter and Rory Jacob are still recovering from shoulder and hand injuries and Ciaran Lyng is still undergoing treatment and may not be back for another month.

But Dunne has not been afraid to introduce young blood.

Last year he brought Jack Guiney and Gary Moore straight out of the minors into the senior panel.

Guiney has been college-tied with UCD so far this season, but Moore (19), a freetaking half-forward from Glynn-Barntown and first cousin of corner-back Eoin Moore, has scored 1-29 in their first three games.

Dunne has had access to county dual players like Lee Chin and Mick O'Regan and has recruited Andrew Shore, who played only for the county footballers last year.

"If they have not been picked to start for the footballers, then I will pick them," he said.

"We won't be getting carried away. It is still very early in the season and we're going to be facing a very strong Dublin team, but these are certainly the kind of games we need to test fellas and we'll know a lot more about them around 3.30 on Sunday," he added.

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