Monday 17 June 2019

McLoughlin to stay in charge

Football boss to be retained

Paul McLoughlin on the sideline during Wexford’s All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Waterford
Paul McLoughlin on the sideline during Wexford’s All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Waterford

Brendan Furlong

Wexford are about to hand Paul McLoughlin a second term in charge of the Senior football set-up.

Having completed a disappointing first year in charge, it now looks as if the former Kildare inter-county footballer will be at the helm fr 2019.

County Secretary, Margaret Doyle, now the G.A.A's official spokesperson, has confirmed that it's now likely the County Board will be asked to confirm his appointment for a second term.

'Paul was handed a two-year term with an option of a third year,' she said.

'He is away in America on holidays at the moment but on his return in August we will be meeting up with him, when he will be asked to remain on for a second year. That's the plan at the moment.'

On the backroom set-up, she said: 'We hope he will also strengthen his backroom for 2019. That will be discussed.'

Wexford had a dismal 2018, suffering relegation back to Division 4, and only winning one league game, the final encounter against an already promoted Armagh side, who opted to give their extended panel some game time.

After a promising display against Laois in the championship, losing out after extra-time, football in the county hit an all-time low in the qualifiers, losing out heavily to lowly Waterford, who were in turn demolished by Monaghan in the opening qualifier round.

McLoughlin took over at the helm from Seamus McEnaney, who had brought the side up from Division 4.

Incidentally, McEnaney has this year brought his native Monaghan through to the All-Ireland Minor football championship semi-final, gaining a convincing nine-point victory over a highly-rated Kildare in the quarter-final last Saturday after winning a rare Ulster title beforehand.

Wexford football is in the doldrums at the moment, with both the Minor and Under-21 sides failing to make an impact in their grades, and the lack of under-age talent coming through is going to prove a further obstacle to progress.

Whatever the reasons for the slump in the big ball game, major refurbishment is needed before the county can even contemplate promotion back from Division 4.

They will return to action in the O'Byrne Cup in January.

New Ross Standard