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Saturday 10 December 2016

Wexford look north and turn to Banty

Seamus McEnaney. Pic: Sportsfile
Seamus McEnaney. Pic: Sportsfile

Banty is back in football management - and in a surprise location too.

Seamus McEnaney, the former Monaghan and Meath supremo, has been confirmed as Wexford's new manager, succeeding David Power.

His first major target will be trying to steer Wexford from the backwaters of NFL Division 4 - but there is also the beguiling prospect of an early summer showdown with All-Ireland champions Dublin.

Wexford have been drawn against Carlow in the Leinster SFC first round next May, with the winners facing the enticing carrot - or poisoned chalice, take your pick - of a quarter-final date with the Dubs.

That match could end up at a provincial venue, pending Leinster Council discussions, and the Slaneysiders would obviously relish a chance to hosts Jim Gavin's men in Wexford Park.

During Jason Ryan's tenure, Wexford provided more headaches for Pat Gilroy's Dublin than any other Leinster pretender, pushing them close three summers running from 2010 to '12.

Nosedived

However, the Model County's football fortunes have nosedived since then, and it is now McEnaney's daunting job-spec to reverse the slide. He will be hoping for more of the impact he made in his native Monaghan and less of the strife that dogged his time in Meath.

A Wexford statement announced that their new boss has been appointed for a three-year period, subject to a review at the end of his second season.

"Considerable consultation has taken place with key panel members," the statement added, "and the appointment will be warmly received by them and supporters generally.

"We wish Seamus, who is better known as Banty to his friends, and the players well."

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