Saturday 24 February 2018

Uncertain times for Wexford Youths FC

WEXFORD YOUTHS F.C. faces into an uncertain future following the appointment of a receiver to Ferrycarrig Park, the Newcastle sports ground built by Wexford TD Mick Wallace's construction company, M & J Wallace.

Bank of Scotland (Ireland) has appointed Tom Kavanagh of Kavanagh Fennell under powers conferred by mortgages registered by M & J Wallace and dated July, 2008, and June, 2013.

Wexford Youths compete in the Division 1 league. The club joined the league after being awarded a First Division licence for the 2007 season.

The opportunity to join the League of Ireland arose as Dublin City became bankrupt before the end of the 2006 season, leaving an uneven number of clubs. The 2007 season coincided with the takeover of the running of the league by the F.A.I. and all existing clubs had to apply for entry into what was effectively a new league.

Limerick was the only existing club refused a licence and so Wexford Youths and Limerick 37 were admitted to the new league.

Wexford Youths have operated out of the newly-developed Ferrycarrig Park which has a 2,500 capacity with 609 temporary seats. Perhaps their biggest occasion was their league cup final game with Derry City which attracted a capacity crowd, while possibly their biggest victory since their inception was a home F.A.I. Cup victory over the same opposition, which was looked upon as one of the shocks of the cup.

Many clubs in the league have been feeling the financial strain this season, with drops in attendances coinciding with a difficult sponsorship climate. Wexford Youths, unlike their opponents, are an all-amateur outfit, with many of the players involved for the love of the game, which in itself will always make life difficult for the club to attract players and become serious promotion contenders.

The club has failed to win over the soccer public in Wexford, with attendances dropping dramatically each season. For their home game on Friday evening last against Finn Harps, the official attendance was 146, which included season ticket holders.

Club Secretary, Terry Cooke, is optimistic for the Wexford Youths' future. 'We have a five-year lease on the grounds. I believe we are just one year into that lease while the club is separate to the company. We are aware of the appointment of a receiver to Ferrycarrig Park,' he said.

Wexford Youths have just two games left in the current season, away to promotion-chasing Longford Town this Saturday evening, and home to Mervue United the following Friday evening, with manager Shane Keegan hoping to have a winning end to the season.

'We will complete our league programme. There is nothing further I can say on the matter, but hopefully we'll be here next season,' added Terry Cooke.

It was with Wexford Youths' under-age outfit under Mick Wallace that Irish international, Kevin Doyle, began his career, before moving on to Cork City, later transferring to Reading and now with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The club's leading goalscorer is Danny Furlong, who transferred to Cork City at the start of the season, and is currently out on loan with Waterford United.

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