Celebrating Wexford Youths great season 23/10/15 : the chronicle.ie

Celebrating Wexford Youths great season 23/10/15

| October 23, 2015

Ferrycarrig Park, the home of football in Wexford, will host Premier Division football next season as Wexford Youths FC secured a first ever league title and promotion to the top tier of Irish football. FAI and Airtricity officials presented the League Trophy and individual player medals to Shane Keegan’s team in front of a capacity Ferrycarrig Park crowd last Friday, following the 4-1 demolition of Shelbourne.

Manager Shane Keegan was virtually unheard of in Wexford when he took the reins at Wexford Youths 4 years ago. Today he is widely regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country. Since Shane took over there have been huge improvements, year on year, both on the pitch and behind the scenes. He has assembled a background staff that have instilled confidence and levels of professionalism in their team that will be relied on as Youths embark in their first Premier Division campaign.

The playing squad are amateurs who do not get paid. They train 3 times a week and then travel the country to play for their club. All for the love of the beautiful game. Wexford has its star players. Danny Furlong’s 28 league goals went a long way to winning the league and yet they are not a one man team. Even when a large number of first team players travelled to South Korea to represent Ireland at the World Community Games during the summer, Wexford picked up an amazing 3 wins from 3 without them.

The players are predominantly from the South East. Shane has picked up the best talent from Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford & Wicklow. We have a very strong relationship with Carlow Institute of Technology and their Sports Science Programme with many of our players studying in Carlow. The few players who have come from farther afield have been scouted, studied, and checked to make sure they are the right personality to fit seamlessly into a close knit squad.

There are many impressive statistics that the Youths can boast this season. Danny Furlong is now the Division One, all-time record goalscorer. They have beaten all teams in their division both home and away. They are currently on a 7 league game winning streak.

Fans have been flocking to Ferrycarrig Park over the last few weeks. While the average attendances have been around 300 people, the last two home games have seen sell out crowds come through the turnstiles. Youths have a very dedicated core Supporters Club who have been following their team around the Country all season. Whether a game was being played in Ballybofey or Cobh, the Youth Army was present, flags flying, chanting their heros all the way. Ask any of the players, the difference it makes having the 12th man in the stand at away games cannot be dismissed.

Off the pitch, preparations for a first season in the Premier Division are already underway. Major improvements around the stadium have been pinpointed and the club have already undertaken a consultation process with the fans at to what improvements they would like to see and how the club can improve their match day experience.

The future surrounding the ownership of Ferrycarrig Park should hopefully be resolved in the coming months with a deal between the FAI and the Wexford League in its final stages. Ferrycarrig Park is already a fantastic asset to football in the county. It will be superb when it becomes a Centre of Football Excellence with Wexford Youths as anchor tenants and available for Wexford League and the Oscar Traynor teams.

It is a very exciting time for football fans in Wexford.

by Barry Devereaux

Wex Youths  Cup      3

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