📢CONFIRMED: Our https://t.co/TNeL6TWoAR FAI Cup second round clash with @DundalkFC will take place on Friday 26th… https://t.co/H0fxCz9pdC



After an agonizing start to the season, the appointment of Ian Ryan has completely rejuvenated Wexford FC.   Fans of the Slaneysiders now have the genuine prospect of an exciting run-in to look forward to.


This is no secret - and last Friday’s confident 2-1 victory over UCD served only to confirm what everybody in the First Division knows.  Ian Ryan’s Wexford FC has turned the corner, and introduced a new habit of winning.  And all the while, playing some excellent attractive possession football.  As @BelfieldThe said on the night - Ian Ryan delivered a UCD style performance to a UCD team.


For context, we can take a look at the table from two months ago today.  Just 6 gameweeks ago, Wexford found themselves 13 points adrift of 9th place Cobh - and the Rams had a game in hand.  With just 9 games remaining for Wexford, anyone would be forgiven for writing off the season ahead.



Just 60 days later and Wexford are right on course for moving ahead of Cobh, if recent form is anything to go by - and even 8th place Cabinteely is a possibility on Wexford's current trend



Introducing this kind of winning habit is surely the main goal of any football manager, and it would appear to be what Ian Ryan has achieved at a team struggling for results in an incredibly short amount of time.  How did he go about it?


Everything we do in training and in how we play must contain my 4 principles; Purpose, Intensity, Aggressive and Accountability - that's with and without the ball.  On Saturday and Sundays, I will watch the opposition for the coming week along with getting reports from Jason Carey. Once I am satisfied in areas I want to exploit or stifle in the opposition, we then design training. As coaches then it is important that we provide training that is enjoyable for the players but also achieves the objectives of what we will try to do on a Friday. It forces myself, Lorcan, Jason Goodison and Colin Gregan to be creative - the lads have been fantastic. The players will receive clips on Wednesday to enforce these points and then Friday is just about executing the plan.”


The win against UCD was the clearest indication so far of how things have changed at Wexford FC.  In previous encounters with the Students, Wexford have struggled badly with their pacey, aggressive style of football and it has reflected in previous scorelines.  One must wonder whether an achievement like that was in line with what Ian Ryan had expected in his first half-season in LOI management?

“The win was a good result.  We are on a good run and I felt the next challenge for us was to beat a team in the play-offs. My main aim when I first arrived was to be more competitive, implement an attractive style ( I think we have room to improve there) and make Wexford FC an attractive club for all concerned stakeholders. Things have gone well to a point but I am never satisfied, I will always want more.  There are still games that annoy me, games where we should have got more points in - 4-2 up in 86th min vs Athlone, lost in the 93rd min vs UCD and only drawing 1-1 after dominating Treaty.”


Wexford fans will undoubtedly take a great boost from moving off the bottom of the table, should they do so before the end of the season.  How does Ian feel about that as an achievement for himself?


“We have given ourselves a chance now to get off the bottom of the table at the most important time of the year. Personally, I think it's irrelevant for me as a manager, I am no more important than any other member of our group. The only way we achieve success is with a hungry, determined group of people all working together.  That goes from coaching and playing staff down to every volunteer - we all work together and can't work without each other. I think the points return of late is a culmination of the foundations laid in weeks gone by - changing habits is one of the hardest things to do in life, why don't people just stop smoking ? We had bad habits when I arrived and it takes time to change that. I think last Friday, there was a symbolic shift. One nil up and then conceding four minutes into the second half (old habit) but we still find a way to win the game (new habit).”


Finally, every Wexford fan will be looking at our current form as a reason to be excited about the upcoming 2022 season and what that year may hold.  With Ian Ryan having signed a 2.5 year deal on arriving at the club, what can he tell us about his plans for the year to come?


“I am extremely excited for next season. The club and I have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes regarding next year and we hope to reveal those plans in the off season. The increasing numbers of fans has been fantastic. I would like to place on record, a huge thanks, in the faith and trust Seanie, Ray and the committee are showing in me. It's important as a manager and particularly a young manager to work for good people and I certainly have that. Tom O'Connor is putting fantastic structures in our academy, the next phase of that is to keep our best talent in our club and ensure the young Wexford players playing elsewhere return to our club. The whole point of academy football is to break into a 1st team - I have shown I am more than willing to give young players a chance should they have the  required hunger, attitude and talent.“




League of Ireland First Division

    Pld +/- Pts
5 Treaty United 24 -3 33
6 Wexford FC 24 -3 31
7 Bray Wanderers 24 -20 21

Full table


Women's National League

    Pld +/- Pts
1 Shelbourne 19 43 42
2 Youths Women  18 16 37
3 Athlone Town 18 16 36

Full table


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