AUTHOR: Kieran Burke – @Kieran_B_Sport.
Consigned to the bottom two every season since they won the division as Wexford Youths in 2015, the 2022 season could herald the start of a new era at Wexford FC with a host of big-name arrivals signed in the off-season.
Dinny Corcoran (Drogheda United), Conor Davis (Longford Town), Aidan Friel (Athlone Town), Conor Barry (Finn Harps), Len O’Sullivan (Bohemians), Joe Manley (Longford Town), Aaron Dobbs (Longford Town), Paul Hunt, Adam Wells (Shamrock Rovers – loan), Mitchell Byrne (Cabinteely), Jordan Tallon (Shamrock Rovers), Alex Moody (Shamrock Rovers) & Luka Lovic (Bray Wanderers) have all signed for Wexford, who despite finishing bottom again last season ended the campaign with plenty of positivity, following the arrival of Ian Ryan as Head Coach.
The former UCD assistant has had a huge impact at Wexford and should he be able to build on that this season, don’t be surprised if bigger clubs come calling. With five of the nine teams in the First Division either being promoted or qualifying for the play-offs again this season, it means teams like Wexford have a genuine and realistic opportunity to aim for those season extending play-offs and generating some much-needed interest and revenue for the football club.
Like every other team in the league, Wexford will need a rub of the green at times this season, especially in terms of injuries given the likes of Corcoran and Davis have been plagued by fitness issues in recent years. If the medical staff can keep those players on the straight and narrow then Jack Doherty could enjoy a very fruitful season with Wexford’s main creative spark in midfield now having some street-smart sorts up front to feed ball into.
Defensively, Wexford will need to buck up their ideas having conceded the most goals of any team in the country bar Longford Town last season. While this is obviously an entirely new look side, such a stat and the recent history of Wexford acts as a reminder of just how big an achievement a top-five finish would be….It may be just a step too far this season but there’s no doubt there will be plenty of eyes on Wexford in 2022 and that in itself is a huge positive after some difficult years.
BTS PREDICTION: 6th
STAR PERFORMER: Joe Manley
ONE TO WATCH: Dinny Corcoran (If they can get him fit he could run riot at this level)