SHANE ROCHE is not continuing in the role of senior director of football at Wexford, having informed county council on Monday that he will not be seeking a re-appointment.
The Geraldine O’Hanrahans clubman has been confirmed as Wexford boss ahead of the 2021 season after taking care of the previous campaign following the abrupt departure of Paul Galvin.
A secondary school PE teacher at St. Peter’s College in the town of Wexford, Roche, who is married with two young children, rose to the challenge facing Wexford football.
After the Tailteann Cup loss to Offaly, he took some time to think about his future before making this decision.
“I have decided to leave my position as senior football manager,” he told this newspaper on Monday. “It was a fantastic experience, extremely pleasant, but very demanding and I knew it would be taking the job.
“I have two young children aged three and one. With such a young family, I wouldn’t be able to give the job one hundred percent, so I don’t want to do it for fun.
“After school I was leaving St. Peter’s College, not going home, going to Ferns Center of Excellence for training, doing management and planning and getting everything ready for the players.
“I knew that taking the job it was going to be busy, but at the moment I am not in a position to continue. I must say that I have been delighted with the management team and the players, “said he declared.
“My ambition in taking on the job was to have a group of players connected and united to ensure the standard and culture was there for the future of Wexford football.
“We have 25 players all under the age of 25. All players know the level required to play inter-departmental, the training, the preparation which is done all year round, the physical preparation, the physical condition, the strength and the conditioning.
“This is what is now required to play inter-county football, with players wanting to prioritize Wexford football.”
Roche said he would encourage anyone coming in to keep some of the staff coming out of the back office.
“I had a great back room, so hopefully whoever comes in will keep as much of that in place as possible in order to have continuity which is important.
“Finally, I would like to thank the players and the management, the County Council as well as all those who have contributed during my tenure. It was pleasant. I wish the players and the management the success that their efforts deserve for the 2023 season.
During his reign as manager, his biggest disappointment was probably the failure to gain promotion from the Allianz League Division 4.
However, he picked up a 2021 Championship win over Wicklow at Aughrim, a rare achievement for Wexford sides in recent years, as he followed that up with a hugely impressive challenge in Dublin before falling to defeat.
This year’s Championship saw his side pick up another first round victory over Offaly, a success that went unbuilt as they lost heavily to Dublin in the next round before leaving the Midlanders in the rematch of the Tailteann Cup.
Roche had a long association with Wexford football both as a player and a mentor, while also managing St. Martin’s. During this time he also helped coach and manage teams at St. Peter’s College.
There is no doubt that his contribution to Wexford football has been immense, overseeing a difficult transition marked by the introduction of so many young players into his squad.
Roche leaves knowing he has left Wexford football in a better place and equally confident that a young team is in place for its starter.
Wexford County Council officially announced the news with the following statement:
“Wexford’s senior director of football, Shane Roche, has announced that he will not be seeking a further term in the role.
“The club person of Geraldine O’Hanrahan (New Ross) met Cathaoirleach CLG Loch Garman, Micheál Martin, this morning (Monday) to inform him of his decision, which comes after several weeks of thinking about his future after the conclusion of Wexford Interdepartmental Campaign 2022.
“Shane was first appointed as caretaker manager in September 2020 before being formally ratified and handed a two-year term in January 2021. With the season split between inter-county action and action club, his two-year term is now effectively over, and he has opted not to seek an extension until 2023 and beyond.
“Before coaching, Shane also represented Wexford with distinction as a player. He was a key member of the sides that reached Leinster’s senior football finals in 2008 and 2011, as well as the All-Ireland semi-final. in 2008.
“He issued the following statement after his meeting with Micheál Martin:
“Today I have informed Wexford County Council that I will not be seeking a further term as Wexford’s Chief Football Officer.
“As I come to the end of my term in this role, I want to pay tribute, first and foremost, to my wife Carmel and our sons Jack and Harry for their love and support.
“I would like to thank all the wonderful players and members of the management teams that I have worked with over the past two years for their great dedication and commitment and for their unwavering professionalism.
“I also offer a sincere word of thanks to the County Council, its officials and many associated with the Wexford GAA family for their support and assistance which has always been readily extended.
“Last and foremost, my thanks to our supporters who have always made our efforts worthwhile. I leave my post with many very happy memories and with gratitude for the immense honor and privilege it has been for me to have both led my country and represented as a player.
Cathaoirleach CLG Loch Garman, Micheál Martin led the tributes to the now deceased manager.
“Shane’s dedication to Wexford football is phenomenal, and he has shown it over the years as a player and a manager,” Micheál said.
“Combining the role of manager with being the father of two young boys requires a particular type of commitment, and that in itself is a man’s measure.
“Great credit is due to him for the way he has served in the role of manager of our senior footballers. On behalf of all of CLG Loch Garman, I sincerely thank him for his service and wish him all the best for the future. ‘coming.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Shane’s behind-the-scenes team who are equally dedicated to the cause and who have also put in countless hours for the good of Wexford football. Great credit is also due to them all.
The process of appointing a new senior football manager will begin in the coming days.