Wexford still eager to improve
By Cian O'Connell
Lee Chin's role in Wexford's return to prominence shouldn't be underestimated. During the past year and a half significant progress has been made in the south east under Davy Fitzgerald's stewardship.
With two solid Allianz Hurling League campaigns sandwiched either side of last year's Leinster Final appearance the signs are positive.
Chin, though, is still adamant that further gains can be made with a lingering issue over free-taking a source of debate in the camp.
"It's probably a bit of question that we ask ourselves at times," Chin admits. "It's one area that we definitely need to improve on is a free-taker within the panel.
"I wouldn't have been known for free-taking over the last number of years; with my club at home, I wouldn't have been. I worked on it over the last two or three years and got myself to a certain level and I started hitting with the club back at home and I showed a great deal of consistency.
"Last year, for the long-range frees, Davy showed his faith in me to hit them and Conor Mac (Conor McDonald) was hitting the closer ones, 65 meteres in. It worked out for us some days and it went against us other days."
With admirable honesty Chin reflects on the 2018 spring. "This year, I probably would have been the number one free-taker throughout most of the League at the start," Chin states.
"Sometimes free-taking is such a petite thing that you can sometimes lose your confidence in it at times, I probably found that this year during the League campaign.
"Rory O'Connor is a fantastic free-taker with his club, most of the year with his club last year. He can hit them well and it was great to see a young man like himself just taking over when I felt my confidence wasn't there at the minute - I was happy enough to hand them over to him."
Fitzgerald will continue to try to find a solution according to Chin. "It's probably something that Davy doesn't put too much pressure on any of us about taking them," Chin adds.
"Davy's motto with frees is, 'if you're confident hitting them, you hit them'. It's something that I would have been confident with over the start of the League, but with my injury and stuff, maybe a little bit of a lack of confidence in my game and stuff as well and the fitness levels I found it maybe just messed me head up a small bit.
"It was great to see Rory come in and take over and do a good job over the last couple of days."
Wexford's Leinster Championship opener against Dublin promises to be an interesting encounter. "Yeah it is going to be a tough test, we haven't beaten them for 10 years in the Championship," Chin remarks.
"We have come up against them in a couple of games throughout other seasons and we have played them in Championship, we know what they are about and they will come down fancying their chances against Wexford.
"We are going to continue working on our own and fine tuning our own game. I'd imagine the first round of the Championship is going to be a nice one."