Wexford Youths' Premier Division survival hopes dented as they lose five players to New Zealand
Wexford Youths are entering a crucial stage of the season and have been dealt a massive blow to their hopes of staying in the Airtricity League Premier Division.
Stephen Last, Danny Ledwith, Conor O'Keeffe, Andy Mulligan and Eric Molloy have all left Ferrycarrig Park to continue their careers with Southern United in Dunedin, New Zealand.
The quintet have moved to the Southern Hemisphere in time for the New Zealand Football Championship which begins at the end of this month.
They will work in the community as well as play football for their new club, after being recruited by Irish manager Paul O'Reilly.
A statement on the Southern United club website read: "Three of the players are UEFA 'B' qualified coaches: Danny, Stephen and Conor. The other two have a coaching background along with high level strength and conditioning expertise. As such, we'll be putting them to work delivering programmes which we feel will work towards our strategic objectives and benefit Football in the region."
Wexford occupy 11th place in the league and are six points ahead of basement side Longford Town who are in the automatic relegation position.
Wexford continue their battle to stay in the top flight against St Patrick's Athletic on Friday night at Richmond Park.