After Wexford GAA announced that they will not extend Darragh Egna’s contract on Monday evening, the talk across the county is now ‘who’s next’…
Darragh Egan was over the Wexford Senior Hurlers for a two-year period. It was a relatively disappointing period for Wexford hurling. Wins in consecutive years against Kilkenny, but an inability to get a win against Westmeath in the two same consecutive years summed up his spell at the Model County.
While not many people would say a bad word about Darragh Egan’s character, or about the man he is, many also felt that the time was right to move on.
Over the last few weeks in particular, and really, ever since the loss to Westmeath at home in Wexford Park, many supporters have called for a ‘Wexford man’ to take charge of the team moving forward.
Given that the Wexford Senior hurling championship is now in Round 4, it probably should come as no surprise to see a Wexford man taking over the team. After all, the Wexford person is likely more ‘in-the-know’ about players, especially about players beyond the typical 20 players that are usually on the panel for the last five years anyway.
While we have already published an article, which predominantly looks at ‘Wexford men’, Wexford GAA should not look at that as the only factor either.
Here, we look at some of the ‘outsiders’ – the non-Wexford men with a passion for hurling and with some experience – that could take Wexford hurling to the next level.
Fast Eddie is a name that often pops up when discussions about the new Wexford hurling manager arise. Brennan has inter-county experience, managing Laois. He has also been over the Kilkenny u-21 hurlers in the past. Beyond that, his playing career with Kilkenny speaks for itself, winning eight All-Ireland titles with Kilkenny and eleven Leinster medals. Brennan is currently over Tipperary club Moycarkey/Borris while he also had a managerial stint with Dublin powerhouse, Cuala.
Another Kilkenny man who could be in the running is Henry Shefflin. Wexford is closer to home for Henry as opposed to Galway. While he is currently over the Galway team, there has been some talk about whether Henry will be continuing with the Galway Senior Hurlers for another year or not. This year, he took Galway to a Leinster final and then on into an All-Ireland semi-final, losing out to Limerick. Shefflin is considered one of the best – if not the best – hurlers of all time. Like Eddie, success followed him during his playing career, winning an incredible 10 All-Ireland hurling titles under Brian Cody.
Liam Sheedy is another name that often pops up during these discussions. The Tipperary native managed Tipperary on two occasions. He stepped down after a three-year term in 2021, but he managed the team to All-Ireland success in 2019. Interestingly, Darragh Egan was in the backroom team of that team’s successful win in 2019 which was a major factor in him getting the Wexford job at the time. Before that, Sheedy also managed Tipp to All-Ireland glory in 2010. In 2012, he guided Newmarket-on-Fergus to a Clare hurling championship, while he has also managed Antrim in the past. There’s no doubt that he is a successful hurling manager that demands respect. As he’s available, he shouldn’t be ruled out of the Wexford Senior hurling job.
Ah, another Kilkenny man. Would a Kilkenny man want the Wexford job, and would Wexford fans be okay with a Kilkenny man taking over? If Brennan’s name is in the mix, then Herity’s name has to be as well. Herity was over the Kildare Senior Hurlers for the last five years. Only less than one week ago, he resigned from his position, but it was unanimous in Kildare hurling circles that he left the county in a better place. With Kilkenny, as a goalkeeper, he was part of five All-Ireland Championship-winning teams, stretching from 2008 to 2014.
Pat Bennet is another name that’s mentioned when these discussions arise. Bennet is the current manager of Ferns-St Aidans. Last year, he managed Ferns to their first-ever club Senior hurling success which was a historic occasion for the club. Bennet, a native of Waterford, has impressed in the club scene in Wexford. This year, after three games, Ferns have registered three wins from three. Another advantage for Bennet is the fact that he has been over Ferns, and from managing them, he would be well aware of the Wexford club hurlers on the scene that could potentially be drafted into the Wexford Senior hurling panel.
Along with ‘outsider’ managers, there are also multiple other options that Wexford could look at. Explore some of the other options in this previously published article.
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