Adrian Flynn: 'Wexford need to stick to a game plan against Dublin'
Sunday’s result is almost irrelevant but it is a chance for Wexford to take a few strides ahead of next season.
That’s the view of former Wexford senior footballer Adrian Flynn as his former side face a daunting task against Dublin this weekend.
Shane Roche’s men recorded their first Leinster win in 7 years as they had 3 points to spare over Wicklow in Aughrim leading to an outpouring of emotion from the Wexford players. Flynn says that was a monkey off their back.
“7 years is a long time, since we beat Longford in 2014 so you could see it in their celebrations at the end how relieved they were. There’s a few lads hanging around from then and it would have been mentioned to them about how long it’s been. They looked like they enjoyed it and I’m sure having the All Ireland champions coming down added an incentive to the game.”
Gusserane man Mark Rossiter was the scorer in chief for Wexford against their neighbours. 1-6 from him sent them on their way to a 2-11 to 14 point upset. The man known as Panther doesn’t want to take credit for helping his club mate turn into a ruthless forward.
“We’ve been watching Mark come up through the club since he was a young chap. He’s an all round kind of player. He’s playing corner forward with the county but I think he’s actually better around the middle. He’s very mobile, unbelievable in the air, athletic. He’ll do a job for you and he’s only going to get better.”
This Wexford team has had to deal with setbacks as well. There were a number of late changes due to injury before the Wicklow clash and Shane Roche finished without his star goalkeeper Pa Doyle and veteran forward Ben Brosnan. Losing spiritual leader Daithi Waters to a black card at the start of the second half might have killed the spirit in some teams but Adrian believes there’s a maturity and levelheadedness on the sidelines that helps them overcome the roadblocks.
“The lads were all great footballers for Wexford themselves. Shane always thought about football in a different way to the rest of us. Selectors Philip Wallace and Anthony Masterson, we all know the work they’ve done for the sport in the county. Most of them are still lining out for their clubs as well so they know what changes need to be made and how to motivate the lads. They did have setbacks on Sunday and they managed them very well. The team is definitely in the right hands anyway.”
Managers, players, even the kit man will have to be on top form if they’re going to get anything from the Dubs who are going for 7 All Ireland’s and have lost count of how many Leinster titles they have back at base. There’s some talk about Cluxton’s absence and a sense that the conveyor belt of talent is slowing but that all seems a little premature.
Adrian remembers a time before the utter domination. He scored a point as Wexford were within a goal of Pat Gilroy’s Boys in Blue in the 2011 Leinster final. Both teams have gone in different directions since then. Adrian knows a result is not the focus for the Purple and Gold but this is a chance to show what they’re made of.
“It’s important that Wexford go out and have a game plan that they can stick to. They have to enjoy it as well and if they’re marking players, watch what they’re doing and learn a bit. Whether they lose by a point or by 15 points, it’s what they do with the experience and how they use that to take steps forward will be important.”
Crucially, 500 fans will be in attendance for the home side at Chadwick’s Wexford Park and with Dublin not used to being on the road in Leinster, everyone in the sunny South East will be keeping their fingers crossed for a miracle.