Wexford look set to be promoted from Division 1B this season
Wexford go into Sunday’s Division 1B game with Offaly at the top of the table. Davy Fitzgerald’s side are the only unbeaten team in the Division with three wins from three.
At home in Wexford Park this weekend, a win over their Leinster rivals could see Wexford return to hurling’s top tier in 2018.
Lee Chin has started all three league games for Wexford, scoring 0-9 in the process. Speaking earlier this week in Dublin, ahead of Friday’s episode of AIB’s The Toughest Trade, the Faythe Harriers star said the win over Galway last month was an important result in the team’s evolution.
“We knew the first two games were going to be the two toughest games that we were going to face in the National League and if we got over them it was basically in our own hands.”
“I think we went down by six points down against Galway twice but we came back and won the game. So I think more so than anybody we're proving to ourselves that we're developing this attitude of not lying down and not giving up come the end of games.”
Sunday’s match is a top versus bottom clash, and despite the favourite’s tag, Chin said the team are under no illusions of what awaits them this weekend.
“We're not taking anything for granted here. We played Galway, had a week's break, and we didn't prepare any differently before we played Kerry. We went through the very same process, we analysed Kerry and what they were going to bring, we didn't take them lightly at all.”
“We're taking every game the very same. We're going to play Offaly this weekend and Offaly beat us last year in the League by nine points. They're not going to forget that and neither are we so they're going to fancy their chances and we're going to be well up for it.”
Chin revealed he has noticed excitement building around the country despite their fans not having “much to be cheering about over the last number of years.”
“There is still a lot of work for us to do and a lot to achieve. Hopefully they can stick behind us in the process of what we're trying to do.”
With three wins from three, along with the added intrigue of Davy Fitzgerald managing a Leinster county for the first time, Chin said it’s the most excited he has been as a Wexford player at this time of year.
“I suppose looking forward to the championship you're saying to yourself that if you keep winning games then it's going to bring more confidence. But if you get hammered in the quarter-final of a National League then...you just don't know.”
“But I suppose I am looking forward to the Championship. I believe we're in a development process of trying to do something amongst ourselves and trying to create some sort of a team here, a winning team. Obviously unless we keep winning we're not going to be too excited come the summer. If we can keep winning, yeah, then further down the line I suppose I'll get more excited coming towards the summer.”
Fitzgerald has a history of getting teams into the latter stages of the All-Ireland series, early in his reign. In 2008, the Clare native led Waterford to the All-Ireland final, months after taking the job. Five years later, in charge of his home county, the former goalkeeper led Clare to All-Ireland glory in his second year in charge.
Chin is not making any predictions about how Wexford will do this summer, but he is excited to be working under the 45-year-old.
“Davy has been incredible with us so far since he's came in. You look at Kilkenny's success over the last ten years, it's been built on the back of how hard they work in games. Just having that never die attitude, that's what Kilkenny are notorious for.”
“Obviously the calibre of players they have too is great, but their mental toughness is one to be admired. I think that's what Davy is trying to bring in with us, playing with that intensity, that never say die attitude.”
“Every day you're going out you're going to leave everything out there and work really hard. I think that's probably what's the backbone of our winning streak at the moment.”
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