Larry Murphy: Wexford reaping the rewards of the hard work at underage level

They play Galway in the Leinster final on Sunday

Larry Murphy: Wexford reaping the rewards of the hard work at underage level

Wexford's Lee Chin celebrates. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

The Wexford hurling team have finally emerged as serious contenders for the All-Ireland Championship this year after an impressive win over Kilkenny in the Leinster Championship.

Davy Fitzgerald's side followed up their league win over Brian Cody's charges in their provincial clash to set up a duel with Galway.   

However, this improvement is only as a result of the hard work put in at underage level over the last number of years, according to Wexford legend Larry Murphy.

The former All-Ireland winner joined Saturday's Off the Ball panel to discuss the excitement in the county at the moment.

He also worked with some of today's stars during their successful period at under-21 level.

"Yeah I was fortunate enough to be with the under-21's for the three years that we won the Leinster final," he said, adding: "So yeah, I know a lot of the guys from Liam Ryan, 'chinners', Guiney's, Conor Mac, all the lads.

"Down in Wexford they would have been well spotted even at under-16, minor level and it was only a natural progression to go up to senior level.

Kilkenny's TJ Reid and Robert Lennon tackle Conor McDonald. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

"There's a lot of work, a lot of coaching being done in Wexford behind the scenes and it does take a good few years to see the reward for their labour. 

"They're physically imposing guys, they're all big and very athletic. That's the modern-day player now...that's what the expectation is, the game has moved on so much. Even in the last 20 years since we all gave up - everything is just bigger, faster and more and more athletic." 

They take on a hotly-tipped Galway side in Sunday's Leinster final at Croke Park. Wexford haven't won the Leinster title since they beat Offaly in 2004. 

Billy Byrne and Gerry Cushe joined Murphy on Off the Ball's Saturday panel and they went on to discuss Sunday's game as well as Wexford's success in the '90s. The full discussion can be heard here: