GAA: SEAMUS CALLS ON MODEL FANS TO BE REALISTIC; Murphy says NHL is key concern.
NEWLY-APPOINTED Wexford senior hurling manager Seamus Murphy is calling for realism from Model county followers ahead of the 2005 campaign.
Murphy is asking fans not to expect too much during the first year of a two-year term in charge as he looks for more consistency from his players.
In recent years, Leinster champions Wexford have disappointed in the league and only raised their game on sporadic occasions in the championship.
Murphy wants to see more consistency throughout the league, consistency that he wants to carry over into the summer months.
The Rathnure clubman, who succeeded John Conlon, said: "We have to be realistic and target a more consistent flow in the league.
"We might not be that well prepared for the spring because of the length of time it's taken to sort out the new manager because we're nearly into the festive period and the team is heading away on a two-week holiday on January 10," Murphy revealed.
"We have performed very poorly in the league in recent years and it was pointed out to me recently that over the last six or seven years, we haven't won a game of note away from home with Derry being the exception.
"Our results away from home have been very poor and I hope to better that and qualify for the latter stages."
Murphy comes into the job with a huge amount of pedigree both inside and outside his native county.
With various club and county teams around the country, Murphy has amassed a staggering 77 titles at various grades including two successive Leinster under-21 titles with Wexford in 2001 and 2002.
He first dipped his toes into management waters back in 1981, getting involved in the juvenile scene with Rathnure and it's been a success-laden story ever since.
Among Murphy's other achievements are a seven-in-a-row with Carlow senior hurling club Naomh Eoin, three Wexford SH titles with Rathnure (1996, 2002 & 2002) and two Leinster camogie titles with Wexford, one at senior level and the other at under-14 grade.
Murphy has also coached teams in Westmeath and Kilkenny and has learned plenty along the way - propelling him towards a post he has always relished.
"It's a huge job in a lot of ways," said Murphy, who has brought on board county board secretary Mick Kinsella as hurling coach.
"There's now a huge intensity in training - when I was playing it might have been two nights a week but now it's four nights a week and weekends."
It's even more difficult for Murphy as he's based in Dublin - a construction worker with East-Wall based Collen Construction.
Murphy will finalise the rest of his backroom team over the next seven days or so but he's delighted that Kinsella has agreed to come on board.
''He comes from a good hurling family," said Murphy. "His brother Rory was a selector on the All-Ireland winning team of 1996.
"When I was doing foundation level coaching courses over 15 years ago, Mick conducted the very first one I went to.
"Liam Griffin often said that Mick is in the wrong job in Wexford - he (Kinsella) loves coaching and he has much more to offer hurling away from desks and boardrooms," Murphy insisted.
Murphy is anxious to build on this year's Leinster senior championship success but he's worried that Wexford have failed to land a provincial title at minor grade since 1985.
A number of development squads in the county will hopefully bear fruit in years to come but Murphy is determined that Wexford will keep chipping away at Kilkenny's dominance in the meantime.
"At least we've pinched a few under-21s and these lads have pinched a senior title too," said Murphy. "That's important for self belief and experience."
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY: New Wexford hurling boss Seamus Murphy has stressed that the county must improve their league form in 2005; OLD BOSS: John Conlon
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Nov 30, 2004|
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