Dunedin-based Southern United have snapped up the players
Wexford Youths' hopes of Premier Division survival have been hit with a massive blow, by the news that five of the team's players have joined Southern United in Dunedin.
Stephen Last, Danny Ledwith, Conor O'Keeffe, Andy Mulligan and Eric Molloy have all left Ferrycarrig Park to join the Dunedin-based team.
Managed now by Irishman Paul O'Reilly, the five players have moved to the team (formerly known as Otago United) ahead of the New Zealand Football Championship season. The first round of fixtures takes place in late October.
According to the Southern United website, the five players will work in the community, promoting the game. Football battles with sports like rugby union, rugby league and cricket for popularity and participation numbers.
"Three of the players are UEFA 'B' qualified coaches: Danny, Stephen and Conor. The other two have a coaching background along with high level strength and conditioning expertise. As such, we'll be putting them to work delivering programmes which we feel will work towards our strategic objectives and benefit Football in the region."
Wexford Youths currently lie in 11th place in the Premier Division, just six points ahead of Longford Town. Longford currently occupy the only automatic relegation spot.
The team return to action this weekend, away to St Patrick's Athletic on Friday night at 7.45pm.