A HUGE BATTLE AWAITS
Hurlers face Derry in Christy Ring relegation
IF Wicklow hurl for the full 70 minutes against Derry this weekend they can leave Páirc Esler free from the shackles of a relegation dogfight with the Nicky Rackard Cup champions.
That’s the view of Wicklow boss Martin Storey who is frustrated at the fact that his young hurlers haven’t found consistency this year so far.
“The only day we put 70 minutes of hurling together was against Mayo over in Castlebar. We have to get 70 minutes of hurling on Saturday.
“If we had hurled for 70 minutes the way we hurled for the opening half against Kildare we would have won. But we lost our way, our heads dropped.
“But these are young guys and it takes a while for lads to get that inner belief within them. It’s a psychological thing more than a physical thing.
“There’s not performing and playing poorly but then there’s not performing and still playing well, still doing the bread and butter stuff, still hooking and blocking and getting the passes away. It takes a while to get to that level.
“80 per cent of it is psychological, 20 per cent is physical. Every team can hurl, every team is fit, every team has a game plan.
“It’s how you handle all that under pressure. That’s what differentiates the really good player from the lad who is not handling it well,” he said.
At the special meeting for hurling clubs held in Ballinakill on Monday night, the meeting was told that only 13 Senior hurlers were attending training ahead of this relegation clash with Derry on Saturday. Martin Storey was quick to explain the reality of the situation.
“We had 13 there, there were three injured, and about 12 or 13 doing exams. They’re doing final years exams. You can’t force lads’ hands. Their final exams are for the rest of their lives,” he explained.
Ahead of the clash with Derry there are two hearings scheduled regarding the sendings off of the Wicklow players in the game against Kildare in Arklow.
“We have some injuries,” said Martin Storey. “Billy (Cuddihy) has a bad dead leg but there are two hearings this week, on Thursday night, so we might have some enforced changes,” he said. WICKLOW GAA have wasted no time in finding a replacement for the outgoing GDA Leighton Glynn who is pursuing a career outside of the GAA.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, operations manager Dave Tutty announced that Kiltegan’s Jonathan Tallon, a Limerick native, and member of the Wicklow Senior camp, will be the man to replace Leighton Glynn, with Tallon having responsibility for hurling only.
‘Wicklow GAA is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Tallon as the new interim Games Development Administrator (GDA) with special responsibilities for hurling within the county.
‘Following the recent decision by Leighton Glynn to pursue a career outside the GAA, our focus has been on securing a replacement through the auspices of Leinster GAA. We are pleased to say that we have sourced a candidate we believe to be highly qualified, dynamic, ambitious and invested in hurling in the County.
‘Jonathan has just completed his BA (Hons) in Sports Management and Coaching following on from a BA in Sport and Exercise (GAA) in IT Carlow.
‘Jonathan was a member of the successful Wicklow Under-21 All-Ireland ‘B’ winning panel in 2015 and continues to play at the highest level.
‘Jonathan’s role will be for an interim period of six months and will involve working closely with hurling clubs around the county and supporting hurling development in primary and post primary schools.
‘Leighton has been a magnificent servant to Wicklow hurling and football both on and off the field for many years and we are acutely aware of the challenges of replacing such a high profile figure.
‘We are confident however, that in Jonathan, we have found an admirable replacement,’ the statement read.