Friday 24 January 2020

'It's not part of my role to close doors on anybody' - Paul Galvin speaks out over Wexford football furore

Paul Galvin has spoken about the start to his Wexford reign. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Paul Galvin has spoken about the start to his Wexford reign. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

Paul Galvin says the furore generated by two players leaving his Wexford football squad before Christmas "cast a bit of a poor reflection on everybody" and has diverted attention from the positive work the rest of the panel have done since he took over in September.

Galvin's decision to drop veteran Daithí Waters was met with understandable surprise given his experience and relative profile in Wexford football while 2019 captain Michael Furlong also departed after reportedly having a disagreement with the new manager.

Kevin O’Grady and Tiernan Rossiter subsequently left of their own accord, prompting speculation about unrest in the camp.

"Some of the thing was out of my hands," Galvin explained, speaking this morning to OTBAM.

"Two players parted off their own accord that were what you call on the fringes of things, maybe. They left and they created a bit of noise.

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Daithi Waters (centre) in action for Wexford

"I made a decision on two players who had been there for a while who I respected. That I had honest conversations with."

Galvin clarified that he "never closed a door as such on those players."

"It’s not part of my brief, it’s not part of my role to close doors on anybody in Wexford," he said.

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"It is part of my brief to open doors. And to give guys opportunities.

"I made decisions on a couple of players.

"A couple of other players then decided to leave and it created a bit of a ruckus down there.

"I thought it cast a bit of a poor reflection on everybody, I thought, which was disappointing with all the work we've been doing."

Galvin also revealed that he was told of the decisions of O'Grady and Rossiter to leave before the players had informed him directly.

Admitting that chain of events came as "a disappointment," he added: "It created all this noise, which was a pity."

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Kevin O’Grady taking on Meath centre-back Donal Keogan

The 2009 Footballer of the Year also said he was "surprised," the story got so much traction nationally on the back of his own profile.

"The instant attention and the reporting on it was disappointing from the point of view that there was a group there doing lots of good work, lots of guys really keen to get into the squad. Almost daily and weekly," he said.

"There are guys putting their hands up from various clubs or their managers saying – or their manager saying 'will you have a look?' Guys really wanting to come in.

"It becomes then about two guys who didn't want to be there and their attitudes…told me as much anyway."

O’Grady and Furlong have since decamped to the Wexford hurling squad and were part of Davy Fitzgerald’s panel last Sunday in their Walsh Cup semi-final victory over Kilkenny.

Last year, Wexford finished fifth in Division 4 of the League and were ousted from the championship at the earliest possible point in the season after defeats to Louth in Leinster and Derry in the qualifiers.

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Tiernan Rossiter

Galvin revealed he had examined "years of footage," of Wexford before making any decision to dispense with players.

"People probably think I came down and made rash decisions," he noted, "but I really didn't.

"I based my decisions on years of games and the training I was seeing in front of my eyes."

Wexford finished bottom of their O'Byrne Cup group with three defeats but Galvin expressed his frustration with the scheduling that has prevented him from having a full training squad with the frequency he had initially expected.

He stressed, however, his intention for Wexford to be "an energetic team," on his watch.

"My big thing is being good to watch and being exciting to watch," he added.

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