There’s a lot of excitement building ahead of the opening round of the Leinster Championship…
Former Wexford defender, Malachy Travers, was a guest on this week’s The Backdoor GAA Podcast hosted by Paul Shaughnessy.
Travers, who has managed Ballyboden St Endas in 2020 and 2021, pinpointed one Wexford defender to potentially put on Galway’s Conor Whelan to stop him having such an influence over the game.
“Much like David Burke, I think Matt O’Hanlon – if he’s not in the Wexford team on the weekend, I think that’s a huge blow. He offers something similar. He’s that anchor, he has that leadership, he has the experience, and he’s been playing really well over the last couple of years. You could say three years ago, you would be saying ‘how much longer he can stick it’…”
“But he’s after re-inventing himself somehow. And he’s had some great years for Wexford. I think he would be a huge loss if he doesn’t play this weekend, and I really hope he does. Again, he’s a man who often gets assigned man-marking jobs, such as TJ Reid against Kilkenny. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took on someone like Conor Whelan.”
“It’s very important to get all of the players on the pitch for Wexford,” he concluded.
Reck has been named centre-back, while O’Hanlon has been named in the wing-back position, though some Wexford locals are suggesting that both players are still doubts leading into the game.
While O’Hanlon has been tasked with man-marking jobs in the past, perhaps O’Hanlon’s presence in the wing-back line will help Wexford as he would offer that physical option in defence.
Then, it would also allow for Oylegate’s Shane Reck to pick up O’Hanlon in the full-back position. Reck has also been given man-marking jobs in the past, with his role against Tony Kelly coming to mind.
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