Wexford taking the Galactico route out of the shadows and the only guarantee is entertainment
Shame on me, but when news broke of Seamus McEneaney's appointment as Wexford manager I had to think hard about David Power's last game in charge.
How could I forget Wexford's second half capitulation to Fermanagh in the Round 1B of the qualifiers? In truth I was still trying to forget their previous outing - a Leinster SFC quarter-final loss to Kildare that was so mind-numbingly boring the hurlers' annihilation at the hands of Dublin in the second part of a thoroughly dispiriting Croke Park double-header last June at least confirmed we still had feelings.
The drive out of Drumcondra with my parents was as depressing as any experienced in nearly three decades following Wexford GAA. That says a lot.
The ones that stick out, like losing the second hurling league final replay to Cork in 1993 , or the 2011 Leinster football final defeat to Dublin, hurt because of the hope. It is what kills you after all, as George Constanza told us.
The problem with Wexford GAA is that things have got a bit hopeless of late. Sure there were some great victories over the likes of Clare and Cork in the hurling but there was no real hope that this would amount to anything.
Provincial finals and All-Ireland semi-finals have become a distant memory so, in the face of a listlessness not in keeping with one of the country's most deluded counties, Wexford GAA have done the only thing they could do - fucked money at the problem.
Wexford have potential but this is still a hell of a task https://t.co/L4GMaojM5F
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) October 7, 2016
Following the eye-catching appointment of Davy Fitzgerald as Liam Dunne's successor, the county board have doubled down by appointing former Meath and Monaghan rabble-rouser Seamus McEneaney as football manager.
Reports that Big Sam and Phil Jackson are being lined up for the minor roles are at this stage unsubstantiated.
There are whispers around the county about a famous figure from a different sport bankrolling these endeavours. Whatever the source of the money, it is the destination that is of interest.
It's one thing having money to spend, it is quite another to spend it on the right things. Ask the Rich Kids of Instagram.
Who knows whether Davy and Banty are the right things, but at the moment they are drawing attention like the GAA equivalent of pink Bentley convertible or $10,000 bottle of champagne.
It is just as well Innovate Wexford Park's naming rights belong to a network provider, because Wexford's opening Division 1B and Division 4 (FOUR) Allianz League matches are likely to attract a lot of media interest.
You'll hear no complaints from this quarter and any accusations of putting lipstick on pig are unfair in the extreme. Power did his best with a young team coming to terms with the loss of the bulk of Jason Ryan's irresistible side. There is potential, but Banty will have to work to bring it out.
Not sure making the Wexford team trample on a Carlow jersey as they leave the dressingroom ahead of their 2017 Leinster SFC opener will do the job, nobody is sure that trick worked too well in Meath when performed with a Kildare jersey. But the prospect of a home draw against Dublin in the next round should be all the motivation the Monaghan man needs.
Fitzgerald inherits a hurling squad back-boned by the best of a batch that delivered three Leinster Under-21 titles in a row. There is talent there, maybe not on the level of neighbours Kilkenny and Waterford, but this is no Sven Goran Eriksson taking over at Notts County.
Nor is this Model double act equivalent to Tomas Brolin and Attilio Lombardo taking over at Crystal Palace - this is an ambitious plan to attack the 2017 intercounty season on two fronts.
Wexford are the talk of the off-season, the trick now is to be the talk of the Summer.
Just spare a thought for any would-be dual players.
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