Wexford People

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Bugler joins backroom

Clare All-Ireland winner from 2013 replaces Molumphy


Joe, Jack, Patrick, Harry and the suspended Rory O’Connor celebrate after Sunday’s Pettitt’s SHC final victory

Joe, Jack, Patrick, Harry and the suspended Rory O’Connor celebrate after Sunday’s Pettitt’s SHC final victory


Brendan Bugler

Brendan Bugler



Joe, Jack, Patrick, Harry and the suspended Rory O’Connor celebrate after Sunday’s Pettitt’s SHC final victory

While Wexford announced the appointment of former Clare All-Ireland winner Brendan Bugler as part of the Senior hurling backroom team for 2020, inter-county star Rory O'Connor was left sweating until the final hours to know his county final fate.

The fall-out of O'Connor's red card in St. Martin's semi-final victory over Ferns St. Aidan's left the club fuming, but they put their frustration to one side to collect their fourth county title at the expense of neighbours St. Anne's on Sunday.

With the player anxious to know his fate, he had to wait until a final decision was made just hours before the game.

O'Connor was handed a one-match ban by the Wexford C.C.C.C. and failed in his appeal to the Wexford Appeals Committee.

The club decided to take their case to Leinster Council who heard the appeal on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in Carlow, where it was decided to uphold the red card offence and one-match ban.

St. Martin's had held out hope that O'Connor would gain a late reprieve as they even listed the player at full-forward in the matchday programme.

However, they were forced into a late change before the game as the potential young hurler of the year had to sit out the final with his colleagues on the substitutes' bench, with Darrern Codd starting in his place.

While St. Martin's held out for a two-point victory over St. Anne's (1-15 to 1-13), the fact that one of their star young players missed out on a final opportunity took some gloss off the eventual win.

Meanwhile, Wexford team manager Davy Fitzgerald has been busy sorting out his backroom team.

Bugler, an All-Ireland medal winner under Fitzgerald in 2013, comes into the set-up in place of Stephen Molumphy who has joined Liam Cahill's Waterford management team, returning to his native county after serving them so well as a player.

Coming back for another year with Fitzgerald are Seoirse Bulfin, J.J. Doyle and Keith Rossiter.

A further addition to the backroom team is that of Graham Byrne who takes up the chief strength and conditioning role.

Byrne, who has held that position with both Dundalk and Bohemians in the League of Ireland, is currently the fitness manager at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown. His appointment brings an extra dimension to the backroom set-up.

The new Wexford Minor managers for 2020 were also ratified last week, with Aidan O'Connor (Buffers Alley) and Paul Carley (Glynn-Barntown) taking joint charge of the hurling team, while David Murphy (St. Mary's, Rosslare) will look after the footballers.

In other news, there will be real romance about the winning of the 2020 Senior football championship, as the new cup is to named after that great footballing servant to the county, the late Seamus Keevans.

It is fitting that his name should remain prominent within Wexford football circles as he strove through the dominant hurling years to keep the other code alive in the county.

He was a man always convinced that Wexford could hold their own with any side in the country given the correct backing and support, particularly at under-age level.

Seamus was the instigator of the Keevans Cup, a rural secondary schools competition dominated in its early days by Bridgetown V.S., and he was also a leading light in the running of the Jim Byrne Cup, a county Minor football league.

Wherever football was mentioned the name of Keevans was prominent, not alone as an officer, organiser and selector, but also as a player, as he won county Senior football titles St. Munn's and Gusserane O'Rahilly's.

When sports colums were unheard of in provincial press, Seamus Keevans had a weekly football contribution under the non-de-plume of 'Peileadóir' in this paper.

It was one of the most popular columns at the time, helping to bring prominence to the game of football in the county.

Wexford People