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Chin not looking back as he puts Tipp lesson to good use

Donnchadh Boyle


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Lee Chin is looking forward to Saturday’s Allianz NHL quarter-final against Galway at Chadwicks Wexford Park. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Lee Chin is looking forward to Saturday’s Allianz NHL quarter-final against Galway at Chadwicks Wexford Park. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Lee Chin is looking forward to Saturday’s Allianz NHL quarter-final against Galway at Chadwicks Wexford Park. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

In the usual course of things, Lee Chin will take himself to his house and pore over the video of whatever match Wexford have just played. Running through the game, looking for areas on where he and the team might improve is just part of his process.

Last year's All-Ireland semi-final defeat was different, however. Victory and a place in the All-Ireland final slipped away from them like sand through their fingers as Tipp roared home despite being down to 14 men.

Chin's private video analysis session after that game was tricky. Initially, he put it off. There was no appetite to relive the gut wrench. And when he did sit down to watch it, he only watched as far as the home straight, where Wexford would gradually lose their grip on things, before switching it off.

"After that Tipperary game I can't recall doing it immediately after the game - I just found it hard to dive into it," he recalls.

"But after a week or two I came around to having a look at it. And even up to the 55th minute I was excited about watching the game even though I knew what was coming afterwards. And I actually think, I switched it off from there.

Biggest

"And probably the biggest learning point I would have gotten was from the last 15-20 minutes as opposed to the first 55 minutes, you know? So it took me another little while to address that.

"Look, it's a game at the end of the day. I try not to let it have so much of an effect. I got around to doing it myself but still didn't have a feeling of pure comfort out of it because you are so used after games to doing it together, and I was just waiting for that to happen. And we got around to that when we went back training and we addressed a few things. It was easier to put it to bed after that."

In summary, Chin reckons that Wexford stopped doing the things that worked for them for so much of that game. And with the skill Tipp have, they didn't need much incentive to get them over the line.

It was an abrupt halt to what had been a dream year and in 2020, Wexford will go again. This Saturday, they welcome Galway to Chadwicks Wexford Park for their league quarter-final clash. Chin only made his seasonal return in the come-from-behind win over Kilkenny last month as he sorted out an injury he picked up in the Super 11s in New York.

"I'm getting there. Probably still not operating off 100 per cent but again a lot of GAA lads don't regularly operate off 100 per cent anyway. I heard one before if GAA lads are at 70 per cent, that's 100 per cent for them. I had a bit of a setback in New York, the Super 11s, partially tore the PCL in my knee."

Off the pitch, he's been busy. Chin is looking into opening a bar with his manager Davy Fitzgerald in Wexford but on the pitch, there's no chance of a return to the days when he tried to please everyone and play everything.

Adept at hurling football and soccer, he's previously had stints with League of Ireland outfit Wexford Youths in the off season, while in 2013 he lined out in both codes for Wexford in the same weekend before making an appearance on 'The Sunday Game'.

"I suppose as a young guy at the time you were just wanting to do it all. Getting the chance and time for me to go out and represent (Wexford) hurling and football consecutively in the one weekend, you were just thinking, 'Ah great, I'm well able to do it, I'm in a good place physically, I'll be able to get through it'.

"That weekend was actually decent, we drew against Dublin and went up and beat Louth and I was part of both games. It was great at the time but I wouldn't be doing it now."

Leaving everything else behind wasn't an easy decision but on reflection he knows it was the right one for him, and for Wexford hurling.

"I think when you're sharing your time and sharing the load of your commitment and everything to other sports, it can have an effect.

"I felt that definitely when I was a lot younger, as opposed to the last couple of years I've totally committed to hurling. People still often ask me am I still playing football for Wexford? I find it odd that they don't realise that I'm not.

"I haven't played football since I was 21 years of age for Wexford. I've dedicated all my time to Wexford hurling, that is going to have a massive effect going forward when you're totally committed to one thing in your life and especially in sport."

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