Gatecrashed interviews and chip-shop previews - Wexford GAA's online coverage sets the standard 1 month ago

Gatecrashed interviews and chip-shop previews - Wexford GAA's online coverage sets the standard

You can't get away from the Wexford club hurling championship these days.

And we mean that in the best possible way.

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Open Twitter any time over the last few weeks and, as long as you're moving in the right circles - GAA circles -  you'll have found that, as quick as you can say boo, you've been drawn in by Wexford GAA.

Before long, you'll be engrossed in highlights of Ferns vs Rapparees, Oulart vs Buffers Alley, Faythe Harriers vs the Martin's or Taghmon-Camross vs Kilrush Askamore.

You'll say that Lee Chin is an animal for the club. That Rory Jacob is still going strong. That it's good to see Shaun Murphy back. That Sean and Michael O'Connor are some men for keeping Rathnure up.

Scroll a little further and you'll find that there's more where that came from.

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Because that's when you'll see, as he gives his post-match thoughts to the affable Laura O'Leary, that Joe Coleman is some talker. "I have the same routine since I was about 14," the St Martin's sharp-shooter says of his free-taking heroics.

You'll see that those young lads absolutely idolise Kyle Firman. "Well done boyo," a young fella beams up at him. "Man of the match boy," says another blonde bomber with stars in his eyes as Firman gives an interview after his 0-6 from play haul in the semi-final.

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Because the Wexford GAA Twitter account is a GAA fanatics' dream. And the best is yet to come.

Scroll a little further and you'll see the inimitable preview they did for the senior hurling semi-finals, where players from each of the beaten quarter finalists sat outside a chipper and previewed the games, in true Irish fashion, over a bag of Sharky's finest chips.

"They're lovely now. You could eat a lot worse than that now," says national hunt jockey and St Anne's hurler Mikey Fogarty.

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But that aside, and chaired by the in-tune Peter Mernagh, they also got into the nitty-gritty of it all.

"When you don't win the game," says Fogarty, in a separate discussion about penalty-shoot-out vs replays vs extra-time, "you're going to have to take some bit of a hit. You're not going to get it all rosy like."

That's a fact. They also discuss, again over the unmistakable waft of a bag of chips, the much-discussed Wexford club championship format. That's because, as county board chairman Micheál Martin tells SportsJOE, "we don't shy away from any big talking points. Our championship is a big discussion point, the split season, and we're not claiming it's perfect, it's probably something that will be up for discussion at the end of the year. And we've had those discussions in the coverage, which is a big part of why it's going well."

"There has been a good effort put into it over the last few years," adds Martin.

"There's a team of people who do the GAA tv for us, Lar Sutton, Finbar Flanagan and Peter Mernagh - they're the three main guys, and they drive it.

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"They're genuinely interested in it. Peter, for example, he's still playing, he only started commentating when we started the coverage during Covid. And he'd know every player that's hurling or kicking in Wexford. Finbar and Lar spend hours then editing it. So it's a great team."

"Our sponsors Sharky's have a fish and chip shop down by the quays and, with the weather being fantastic, we've done the previews there and it's a great setting.

"Look, you have to focus on the online side of it nowadays. We've been lucky, we've got great people to fill these roles, match-day Twitter, PRO and so on. You're reliant on the people who do the jobs for you, and they're doing a great job."

St Martin's take on Ferns in this year's senior final, while Oulart-the-Ballagh play Taghmon-Camross in the intermediate and by next Monday, you'll see goals and points and highlights and interviews. There's nothing surer.