Monday 21 October 2019

O'Brien steps down

WEXFORD ARE on the hunt for a new Senior football manager following Aidan O'Brien's resignation.

WEXFORD ARE on the hunt for a new Senior football manager following Aidan O'Brien's resignation.

The Slaneysiders crashed out of the provincial championship title race to Dublin, who have continued their dominance right through to the All-Ireland semi-final stage, while the county then lost their qualifier game to Laois, a contest they should have won.

O'Brien informed County Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, on Monday morning that he is stepping down after two years in charge.

The Westmeath native has cited personal reasons for his decision. Vice-Principal at Good Counsel College in New Ross and married with a young family, he gave two years' loyal service to the county football set-up.

While he may not have brought provincial or league success to the county, he set out on a re-building programme, having taken over from Jason Ryan. With veterans David Murphy and Redmond Barry both retiring, and Anthony Masterson opting out, he lost out on three experienced campaigners whom many felt could have added value to the squad as impact players.

Barry later continued his inter-county career with the Intermediate hurlers and played in Saturday's All-Ireland final loss to Cork.

O'Brien and his backroom team gave so much in their desire to bring Wexford football forward. While many of the players have given distinguished service over recent years, having to introduce so many young, talented performers at once is no easy task given that the number one priority of all sides is winning.

Unless one is winning, the manager and the side are deemed as being unsuccessful.

While disappointed with his resignation, County Chairman Diarmuid Devereux fully respects Aidan's decision and would sincerely like to thank him for his one hundred per cent commitment and loyalty to Wexford football. He wished him and his family the very best for the future.

Now that the speculation has ended, the Wexford Football Monitoring Committee will be brought together over the coming weeks to seek out a successor.

Wexford football faces an almighty challenge even to win promotion from Division 3, let alone become a championship force. There had been clear indications through the latter years of Jason Ryan's tenure that slippage was very prevalent, a slippage which he failed to halt over his final two years.

It's early days yet as to who will take over at the helm of Wexford football leading into the 2015 league and championship campaigns. Many names will be brought to the forefront but it's certain that Wexford G.A.A. officers will be determined to have a person from within the county appointed.

New Ross Standard