Tuesday 20 March 2018

It's up to us to climb back up the ladder - Brosnan

Ben Brosnan is hoping Wexford can get back on track against Limerick. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Ben Brosnan is hoping Wexford can get back on track against Limerick. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Michael Verney

The bleached blond hair of his younger days is no more but Ben Brosnan's creative flair hasn't left him, and he has been steadily making a name for himself inside and outside the white lines in recent years.

Brosnan had been studying Sports Coaching & Business Management in Carlow IT before switching focus, and while he considered a fashion design course, he instead decided to take the bull by the horns in February 2014 and set up his own sportswear business.

Just over three years later and Bodibro, who manufacture a range of sports gear, is being sold in all 32 counties and in places as far afield as Abu Dhabi, New York and Sydney.

With a manufacturing base in the Middle East and an Irish office in Gorey, the Wexford attacker has been working overtime with Féile commitments as he juggles inter-county life with work, but once sales are delivered by close of play today, focus shifts to Limerick in the qualifiers tomorrow.

After a promising start to the year under new boss Seamus 'Banty' McEnaney with promotion to Division 3, things have gone downhill since a comprehensive Division 4 final defeat to Westmeath. "Anything that could go wrong did go wrong" as Carlow dumped them out of Leinster, and that dressing-room was as a low point in Brosnan's ten-year Model career.

The carrot of playing back-to-back All-Ireland champions Dublin in the last eight had been dangling in front of Wexford for months but they were unable to grasp it and the 29-year-old admits it led to a "backlash" in the county.

"That's probably the worst I've ever seen the dressing-room, everyone was so disappointed. We thought we should've beaten Carlow, and then missing out on the Dubs in Wexford Park, it was tough," he said.


"It would have been a great game for us to get the whole county behind us, and the county board lost out on a lot of money as well. The whole thing against Carlow was a huge backlash on football in Wexford, especially seeing how Carlow did against Dublin, it was as a huge blow to our year.

"It wasn't hard to pick things up after, though. The lads (management) got everyone back on board straight away, they've gone through really good qualifier runs with Monaghan and Meath and we've gone on one or two before so we just wanted to get on the road again."

All the talk on Slaneyside is of the hurlers' exploits, something Brosnan feels they fully deserve, and training on Tuesday coincided with the media evening before their Leinster final. The journalists and photographers only wanted a piece of Davy Fitz and Co, a far cry from Brosnan's debut season in 2008 when the footballers reached the All-Ireland semi-finals.

"There wasn't a thing about us and that's down to us so it's up to us now to react if we want to get Wexford football back up to where it was five or six years ago," he said.

That's starts with a trip to the Treaty where "both sides are fighting for their lives" and the Castletown forward believes a win could turn their season on its head.

"We won't be expecting a huge travelling, we know there will be 50-100 people there supporting us but we just have to do it on the day," he said.

"We've gone back down to where Wexford football had been in the past and it's up to us to try get things back on track for the next few years again.

"You wouldn't know how the Qualifiers would go - you could get on a run of three or four games and end up in a quarter-final in a month's time, but we have to get over this one first and no-one is really giving us a chance because we're playing away and Limerick are at a similar level to us."

Irish Independent

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