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Wexford star Diarmuid O’Keeffe displays on the Model County’s underwhelming 2020 marketing campaign wherein they suffered defeats by the hands of Galway and Clare, and seems to be forward to the upcoming 2021 National League.
Last Updated: 04/05/21 three:45pm
After the highs of the Leinster title and a close to All-Ireland semi-final miss in 2019, final winter was a moderately underwhelming one from a Wexford hurling perspective.
The Yellowbellies usually are not shying away from their shortcomings both.
“It was as tame an effort to retain a Leinster title as probably anyone has come out with,” displays Diarmuid O’Keeffe.
“We simply did not carry out in any respect. It was flat. They had been stale performances. You had been actually making an attempt to get back into the mindset of difficult your self of 2019 once more, and making an attempt to elevate your self a bit bit extra, and making an attempt to dig in that manner.
“In methods, on a private degree you simply need to overlook your performances, they had been so under par. I anticipate a lot extra from myself and I do know the lads do in addition to a staff to strive and rise above that, and come good once more this 12 months.”
The Model County fell to Galway and Clare by 13 and seven factors respectively in 2020, and it has been an extended six-month wait within the south-east for one more aggressive match.
Lockdown has allowed O’Keeffe to replicate on the place issues went flawed final 12 months.
“We most likely anticipated video games to be coming back ahead of what they did,” famous the St Anne’s man, reviewing 2020.
“We had been making an attempt to maintain our health ranges up through the lockdown, most likely a bit sooner than different groups may need had. As a outcome when video games did come back, we had been greeted with membership championship first. Some of the lads most likely reckon they’d a greater marketing campaign with their golf equipment than they did of their county marketing campaign, and hit type earlier within the season than when the Galway and the Clare video games got here round.
“The phrase, ‘front-loaded’, is probably appropriate. We just anticipated the games would be coming back sooner than what they did. And probably pushed a bit too hard at the beginning.”
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In the aftermath of the Clare defeat within the qualifiers, Wexford had been planning to hit the bottom operating in 2021 earlier than the most recent lockdown was introduced.
“We were due to start back on the 1st of January,” mirrored the 29-year-old.
“I think Davy at the time, we had come off the back of pretty stale performances last year in November. I think Davy just wanted to give us six weeks just away from everything and just completely recharge and refresh. When we came back in January, the plan was to do a couple of weeks of boxing training. But it never materialised, that was our kind of plan. So we hadn’t touched base really at all before Christmas.”
‘Full throttle’ for National League
Wexford can be utilizing the National League to hit the bottom operating, as they search a springboard for an extended summer season forward.
“Momentum is everything in this game, especially for us,” O’Keeffe stated.
“There’s a few new lads in the panel, and I’m sure the fact that unless the two teams that finish top of the league meet in the championship, there’s no knockout or final stages. So there’ll be an opportunity to try get a bit of momentum, hit a bit of form. There’s such a short gap between league and championship now that you want to do that in the right manner when the championship does come around.”
Many are suggesting the National League’s proximity to the championship might see groups interact in shadow-boxing over the approaching weeks. But it’s a notion which O’Keeffe totally rejects.
“I think players will be going full throttle, no doubt. I don’t think there is a player or a team out there that is not going out there to win every ball and every game. They’ll be going full throttle, hell for leather,” stated the 2019 All-Star.
“Will the talent degree or contact be on the identical degree as what it is perhaps later within the 12 months? No, completely not, it will take a few weeks to come up to pace with it. Will health ranges be at that degree? No, completely not as nicely.
“So it is going to be a bit little bit of a trial interval as nicely, so some new gamers within the squads can get a little bit of game-time. But it’ll nonetheless be hell for leather-based, there can be loads of high quality in it and as we stated at the beginning of the decision all inter-county gamers now are doing one thing to maintain match so gamers will not be doing too dangerous and groups will not be doing too dangerous within the first couple of weeks, little doubt.”