Second camogie team is withdrawn
County Board criticised by players
WEXFORD HAVE withdrawn from the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate camogie championship as the fall-out from the County Board’s handling of the managerial situation continues.
When Wexford camogie belatedly announced Martin Carey as manager of the Senior side in January, they also confirmed that he would take over the second string.
However, clashes in the league meant this proved more difficult in practice, and the Intermediate side had to make do with an assortment of people looking after them.
This newspaper understands that Ray Quigley was eventually ratified as manager for the championship but the damage was done by that stage, with several players from the league having already withdrawn from the squad.
Contacted for a response, the Wexford County Board stated: ‘After having Intermediate Management ratified at County Board for Championship, the numbers at training was discussed and an email was also sent to clubs looking for players to attend training in Ferns COE.
‘Unfortunately no new players attended. With such low numbers on the panel regrettably a decision was taken to withdraw the Intermediate team from the Championship. Wexford Camogie County Board are hopeful that we will be able to field in both senior and Intermediate in 2019.’
In correspondence with a source within the now defunct Intermediate squad that wished to remain anonymous, an apparent timeline of a flawed system of governance emerged.
The players trained together at the start of the season as one squad, the numbers were quite low, and it was expressed that all would get a chance to prove themselves.
Once the league started, no member of the Senior management team was a visible presence at any Intermediate game.
Even had they not been appointed as management for the team, or not quickly opted out of it, this is clearly not good practice when the second string has long been a stepping stone to the Senior panel.
Unaware of the shambles that was about to unfold in the coming weeks, Wexford travelled to Antrim with no management but three County Board members. They conducted the pre-match warm-up themselves as players and lost.
Pat Redmond came on board for the second game and he managed the team.
With a structured approach on the field, Wexford pulled off the surprise of the league by beating Down, and there seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel.
When Wexford turned up to W.I.T. to face Cork, they were informed that Pat Redmond wasn’t available and they would be ‘managed’ by the County Board again.
After another heavy defeat the panel called an emergency meeting with the County Board.
After the players aired their grievances, the County Board, minus the Chairman who was not present, stated that Pat Redmond would lead the team for the remainder of the league.
The girls went back to training under the Senior management, but there was an unease as the players felt shut off as mere Intermediates.
Redmond took charge against Westmeath and Wexford lost to the league finalists. However, the team found out that day that their interim manager had not been asked to take charge of the Cork game and they had previously been misinformed by the County Board.
This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Wexford pulled out of their final game against Carlow as a statement, but a convenient one that spared further torture.
Enough was enough and several girls left the panel before the Leinster championship kicked off.
It was felt at that stage that it would be impossible to attract new players into a mess and that to start fresh with a new manager was a complete waste of time with other sides already championship ready.
Our source felt that, had a proper management team been in place before the season started, there would have been no problem with getting players to commit to the Intermediate team.
She expressed a lack of ‘trust’ from players in those in charge of Wexford camogie and spoke to us out of concern for the future of the game in the county.
This newspaper was in contact with several other players from the squad. There was a reluctance to talk in depth for several reasons, but the over-riding feeling was that of complete dismay with the ‘shambles’ they tried to rally against.