Lee Chin eager to secure further success
By Cian O'Connell
Suddenly all sorts of possibilities exist for Wexford so Lee Chin is excited about the 2020 campaign.
A first Leinster title in 15 years illustrated what can be achieved.
It also suggested to the Wexford players that they are capable of earning more silverware in the future.
"Yeah, well I think so," Chin admits. "There are certain pillars of teams’ careers that, there’s moments where once you get over a certain line, it pushes you on further.
"Over the course of Davy’s time with us, in 2017 was a big milestone for us as well, getting into a Leinster final.
"We started believing then what we were capable of, but we just weren’t fully sure of ourselves yet. In 2018, we’d a bit of a rocky year. We didn’t really make any ground on the previous year. But then in 2019, we just decided we know we’re well capable of whatever."
The Leinster Championship draw against Galway at Pearse Stadium was an important day for Wexford according to Chin.
"I suppose that game up in Salthill against Galway was one pivotal moment, we went up there and got a draw out of it," Chin reflects.
"It was a game that we probably could have won as well. We sat in the dressing room afterwards, we agreed that we’re well capable of going places, let’s keep the head down and working hard."
Earning a PwC All Star for his exploits with Wexford, Chin was delighted to secure the award.
"It was unbelievable," Chin comments. "For my family and my club, it’s incredible. They were so proud.
"Obviously I was happy myself to receive an All-Star. It’s something as a kid you look up to your heroes that are receiving these All-Stars.
"Just to be up there with the rest of the rest of the gang that were there on the night, it was just an honour to be there side-by-side with such great hurlers in the country as well."
Chin was a key performer for Wexford, who were eventually outfoxed by Tipperary at the penultimate stage.
So how demanding was it for Davy Fitzgerald's panel to deal with the All Ireland SHC Semi-Final loss?
"All year when you play your games between Walsh Cup, National League, practice games and then Championship, every game you dissect and you analyse," Chin says.
"And when you're beaten in the last game of the year, that's it - you're done for the year. There's no assessments, there's no analysing and that was one hole that I found hard to fill, was the fact we didn't sit down in a room together and just discuss what went wrong because I needed answers myself.
"I suppose it was a thing where you'd be contacting a couple of the lads and through conversations with Davy himself, you start filling that hole of going, 'Yeah, maybe they're the reasons why.'
"It takes a while, it does take a while but time is a great healer and you back to your club and you get on with the lads there. You set another goal with your club and you move on, in time."
Brendan Bugler's arrival as a selector has bolstered Fitzgerald's backroom team too which Chin feels is another positive.
"Brendan Bugler, sure all we know about Brendan is he was an unbelievable, honest guy on the field," Chin states.
"I played against him in 2014...where he actually got sent-off against Wexford in Wexford Park. We had a meeting last week and I drew a little dig at him about that.
"I spent time with Brendan in New York, we actually won a championship out there with Galway New York together. I wouldn't have got to get to know him very well there, I was only spending a day or two with him as I was only there for the weekend but he's a great guy.
"I bumped into him once or twice over the years, met him last week as well he came down to meet the group. Just an unbelievable guy, looking forward to working with him."
Chin acknowledges that Wexford's next challenge is to maintain the standards reached in 2019.
"Every team is striving for consistency really," Chin remarks. "If you are consistent it is where you are going to make your gains.
"I suppose over the years with Wexford we were one of those teams that were unpredictable, we were inconsistent in years gone by. Even in 2014 we beat Clare, who were the All Ireland champions.
"Then for another few years after that we weren't really doing much. We've always had a very committed bunch of lads, very dedicated, but it was just a case that we needed an extra little bit. "Since Davy came in he has brought that and the last couple of years have been a bit more promising for us.
"Again in terms of '17 we were consistent in some of our performances, not all of them.
"In 2018 similar enough, we weren't consistent in all of them, but in 2019 throughout the Championship anyway, the five or six games we were pretty consistent in most of them. That is a good sign."