Wexford ready for action packed spell
By Cian O’Connell
It has been a dramatic 18 months for Wexford, who continue to make encouraging progress in the south east, and Seoirse Bulfin is delighted to be involved.
These are exciting times for Davy Fitzgerald’s outfit, who host Dublin in an attractive Leinster Senior Hurling Championship encounter at Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday.
The venue has housed some interesting games already this year with Bulfin acknowledging that the disappointment with the League semi-final loss to Kilkenny was a clear sign of how far Wexford have travelled. “I suppose it is really, in 12 months you've made good strides, you are competitive and stuff,” Bulfin says.
“There is still a lot of ground to make up to the Kilkennys, the Galways, the Tipperarys, the established teams. There is a long, long way to go for what would be considered some of the lesser teams, the likes of the Wexfords, Dublins, and Offalys within the province.”
A passionate Wexford support has been stirred ensuring the crowds are healthy, but that brings certain challenges too according to Bulfin. “Some days, I will be honest, it is like a pressure and some days it is a positive,” Bulfin admits.
“The one thing I would have to say is from the first minute when we started working down there in Wexford is there has been immense positivity.
“Even the days we had setbacks - like the last day against Kilkenny when we would be very disappointed with our performances for the supporters and for the crowd that turned up. They still, to be fair, were very, very positive.
“It is great to have crowds coming like that, but you have to manage that situation. Obviously with crowds like that comes expectation so some days it is a positive and some days you wonder is it a bit of a negative when you feel that expectation. So far the guys seem to be able to cope with it.”
Matches are arriving thick and fast now for Wexford, who will hurl on the next four weekends. “It is a change and you won't know how you deal with the change until you are in the middle or at the end of it,” Bulfin adds.
“So it is very important to stay injury free, you have to trust in your S and C people and your physios. It is going to be very important because it is all about recovery.
“You will get no real training done for that month. It is about recovery and managing your time from game to game. We have four games in 21 days which will present its own challenges really.”
Intrigue surrounds the new format with Bulfin backing the new system as it affords all the competing counties a real opportunity with two home matches also scheduled.
“It is fantastic, every team starting out in the Liam MacCarthy Cup this year is guaranteed four matches,’ Bulfin states.
“It has never happened before so there is a certain amount of intrigue, there is a lot of talk about it. People are wondering about how it will go considering you have so many matches in quick succession, but it is fantastic to be part of it. Any guy that is involved, to be in four matches is a plus.”