The Wexford Senior hurling team, their manager Darragh Egan, the chairman Michael Martin, and for some — even the whole County Board — have came in for some criticism by Wexford hurling supporters….
The major source of criticism came following Wexford’s loss to Westmeath in the Leinster Senior hurling championship, however, there was also a lot of criticism following Wexford’s loss to Dublin in the previous round, mainly due to tactics.
The previous round, whereby Wexford lost out Dublin in Croke Park, encouraged Wexford’s 1996 captain, Martin Storey, to voice his concerns about the whole situation and particularly, Wexford’s negative style of hurling.
After Wexford’s loss to Westmeath, it led to RTE pundits Jackie Tyrrell and Liam Sheedy to label Wexford as “spineless… lacking leadership, concerning” and that they are “slipping at an alarming rate.”
Michael Martin, who is the current chairman of Wexford GAA, has responded to the criticism in the wake of the Westmeath result in an interview with South East Radio.
Interviewer Alan Corcoran asked him about the substitutions and management’s tactics on Sunday afternoon:
“Players would be the first to put their hands up. I think there’s a collective responsibility. We can talk tactics and all different aspects of the game, but in reality, when you’re 16 points up in the your ground, you go out and do the business. You could feel the panic in the stands, and on the pitch,” he said.
“It would not be appropriate for me to comment on substitutions, nor any Chairman. We put the management team in place, and support them in every way possible. We support the players and we support the management. We had a game earlier in the year, 15,00 people, that’s what we need to do next weekend. There’s a collective responsibility to get behind the team” he said.
When asked if he as Chairman, or if the County Board needs to step down, he said:
“It’s a fair question. It’s important for those not involved in clubs to understand. The executive is elected annually by the clubs of the county. Every November, there’s an opportunity for people to come forward and put themselves forward for positions. The office of the county board, including myself, do so voluntarily – and even at our own cost, without expenses. I am coming to the end of my tenure anyway; I could not fault any of the team that have worked with me for the benefit of Wexford GAA.”
Wexford’s Chairman Michael Martin also called on more people to get involved in Wexford GAA. As opposed to just commenting on social media or sharing opinions, he has called on Wexford GAA folk to get more actively involved.
“When I became Chairman, if I made 100 phone calls to people to get involved. At the end of those phone calls, that same person would say ‘I don’t have the time to help’.
“You can change any position in the County Board, including my position. I’ve no problem at the end of this year – it’s probably my intention anyway I’ve done my 3-year term – I’m happy and passionate to put the time into it. It’s very easy to go on social media or to send a text.”
“We have lots of things to do to promote Wexford hurling and football. And there’s a roll for everybody,” he concluded.
Concluding the interview, as expected, the chairman called on Wexford supporters to get behind the Wexford hurlers this weekend against Kilkenny.
“Everyone is gutted. There is an onus on us all now to get behind everyone. This is a huge game next Sunday. We have faith in our own hands, we are not underestimating the challenge of our near-neighbours. You’d still feel with an overwhelming Wexford support we could get over the line next week,” he said.
The full interview segment on South East Radio can be listened to below:
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