Monday 21 October 2019

Power looks for positives ahead of O'Byrne Cup clashes

Wexford Senior football boss David Power who will have his first competitive fixture on Sunday.
Wexford Senior football boss David Power who will have his first competitive fixture on Sunday.

Brendan Furlong

David Power will have his first competitive game as manager of the Wexford Senior football team when they entertain DIT in the O'Byrne Cup at Pairc Ui Siochain, Gorey, on Sunday afternoon next.

The first of three games in this competition in the space of seven days, Power will be fielding a side that will be a mix of experience and youth, as he tries to stamp his own look on Wexford football. It's early days to expect anything really new, but the 31-year-old, the youngest inter-county manager at this level, will still be seeking a performance from whatever side that eventually takes the pitch.

Power may be new to Senior inter-county management but he led Tipperary to All-Ireland Minor success, while also enjoying a successful spell with the Premier County's Under-21 side. So he will bring a huge amount of experience despite his young age and has already impressed the players during the pre-season training.

But he has been dealt a 'double blow' for the 2015 season in that both Daithi Waters (hurling commitments) and P.J. Banville (America bound) will be unavailable, but this has been cushioned by the return of netminder Anthony Masterson.

Masterson is recovering from a hernia operation at present but hopefully will be available for the league. Another absentee for Sunday next is Graeme Molloy, who has undergone knee surgery, but is making a rapid recovery.

Moving up to Senior inter-county level is a huge move for the young Tipperary football enthusiast. But when the Wexford Senior job came up he jumped at the chance and has been working frantically over the past several months along with his selectors, Mick Walsh and John Power, while Mattie Forde has joined the set-up as forwards coach, which should prove of huge benefit to the younger players coming into the set-up.

'The first two weeks after I was appointed I had to search for a management team. Then I got the panel that was there last year and rang everyone that was on that list, there were a good few yes, a couple of maybes and a few no's', which was grand.

'I opened up the squad then, had trials and challenge games. In that process I have seen over 100 players, that's including the current panel as well. I am involved with the Under-21s too, I find it a lot better when you've some control over both.

'I'm happy with the set-up. David Power cannot function without a good team around him. you can't do it all on your own. You need good back-up and luckily enough I have that'.

Referring to the targets for 2015, he said:

'The simple target I have, and I've said it to the players, is every game we play, no matter what competition, is that we go out to be competitive and to try to win.

'From my short time down in Wexford, the players are lacking confidence and belief. If you were to ask me if they're talented, yes, there's an abundance of it. We have to take that quality and get the belief and the will to win, that's what I am working on at the minute.

'There are areas they are weak on and this process will take time. I'm not saying that we're in a transitional phase, it's a word managers use to take the pressure off. We're in a phase where we have to improve but that is going to develop over time.'

Now Power and his backroom team will be looking towards three home victories over the seven day period that would take them into the knock-out phase.



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