Morris a firm believer in Wexford's style of hurling
By John Harrington
Paul Morris has been racking up both a high quality and quantity of scores for Wexford since Davy Fitzgerald took charge of the team so he’s in a good position to dispute the theory they’re a defensive side.
They might play with a sweeper, but his view is that most county teams now do to some degree or another, and that in actual fact Wexford are more attack-minded than some of their rivals.
“Yeah, I think so,” said Morris. “I think it’s probably not analysing the games and looking at them properly for what they are. It’s just like they take a sweeper and it’s seen as negative.
“And it’s not the case if you really analyse the case and look at how we play compared to other teams play. I think Derek McGrath highlighted that a number of times on the Sunday Game in terms of how Galway play, pull players back the field.
“If you actually look at the games and look at the way we attack, we sometimes have two half backs, two midfielders and two half forwards, you actually end up with too many bodies up front at times.
“So I don’t think it’s any way negative whatsoever. If you look at some of the top teams, the Limericks, the Galways, they pull their half forward line into their own half and their full forward line…
“They’ll end up with 13 men behind the ball sometimes. Whereas we very rarely have 13 players behind the ball.”
Morris believes that Wexford are in a good place tactically under Davy Fitzgerald, and that the biggest area they need to work on is blooding more players and deepening their reservoir of talent ahead of a hectic Championship campaign.
“I think for the league this year, it’s important for Wexford to broaden our panel,” he said. “Probably last year, that was one of the things that we probably a little bit criticised for in the championship last year, that it wasn’t broad enough.
“We exited the championship very disappointingly last year. We really just didn’t turn up on the day. Even the weekend just gone by, we’d three or four newcomers come in, acquitted themselves very well.
“We’ve bad luck with injuries at the moment, we’d be missing a few key players, lads just returning from injury, a couple of guys on a longer term list. So I think broadening the panel is definitely a key area for Wexford for the league.
“I think we have it this year, we have our strongest panel this year than we had under Davy. We’ve 32 lads and everyone is capable of acquitting themselves in league or championship.
“It’s about getting game time into these lads in the coming weeks and months and put us in good stead coming into the championship.”
Wexford’s hurling supporters are crying out for some Championship silverware and that’s the target too for the players, but Morris is realistic to know it’ll be a tall task again this summer with so many strong teams to contend with.
“Leinster titles, they don’t come easy,” he said. “You want to get up the steps in Croke Park, nothing is going to be handed to you.
“Galway are obviously a force, All-Ireland contenders. I never thought Kilkenny were gone. Some people thought Kilkenny were gone a couple of years ago. Wishful thinking maybe.
“Massive underage coming through, young guys coming through. They still have the core of their team that were maybe missing last weekend and they still won impressively over Cork. Kilkenny are there.
“Dublin are coming. Carlow ran Dublin close at the weekend in Division 1B so Leinster is going to be huge, it’ll be massive this year.
“As any sportsman, whatever field it is, not just hurling, your goal is to win medals. Your goal is to win trophies. But we don’t go out and say, we’re going to win the All-Ireland this year.
“It is a process and we have to take the league for what it is, and we have to broaden our panel in the league, we’re going to have to find a consistent level of performance to put us in good stead coming into the championship.”