Paul Galvin says his "first real test" as Wexford football manager came early in the pre-season when he had to deal with a player who did not understand the need to continue his training programme while on a month-long holiday.
In December, it emerged that senior players had left the Wexford panel following disagreements with the four-time Kerry All-Ireland winner. Daithí Waters and Michael Furlong were those who initially departed with Kevin O'Grady and Tiernan Rossiter reportedly also leaving in solidarity with their teammates.
"The big eye-opener for me has been exposure to the type of mindset where when you push they don't want to know," Galvin said on his former Kerry teammate Tomás Ó Sé's 'Comhrá Le Tomás' podcast.
"I had a couple of conversations with some of the older, senior players, we'll say. When push came to shove, they weren't that comfortable with the push and pull.
"We lost some guys, they fell by the wayside either through a decision of mine or a decision of theirs. That happens and it had to happen. You create the energy that you want eventually, that's my take on it."
Caught up with my old roomie and wing man tomasose5 for a chat last week. It’s coming up over on his page tonight. A guy I would do anything for on or off the field. He’s making great strides in the world of fashion… https://t.co/27BWiXDwuB
— paul galvin (@pgal10) July 12, 2020
Galvin explained the circumstances which led to one player departing. He did not identify the individual.
"Some of the stories were funny," said Galvin.
"I had a chat with one guy about a week into pre-season. [He had] seven or eight years [with Wexford] under his belt.
"I probably had reservations about him from a championship game Wexford played against Carlow in 2017. He swerved a bit of work and his man got the goal. I'd watched that game closely and I did a load of research on video, club games and inter-county games. I had some reservations about him. My exposure to him through training confirmed my reservations a little bit.
"A week into pre-season, he told me he was going on holidays for a month. I said to him, 'That's fine, off you go but you need to continue your fitness programme'. His answer was, 'Well, I'll be renting a car and I'll be doing a lot of driving around'. Basically, [he said] there will be no training done, 'I'll be touring New Zealand or Australia'.
"That was a month where a senior player of seven or eight years was telling me a week into pre-season that he was going on holidays and that there would be no work done while he was away because he'd be doing a bit of driving. That was a massive moment for me. I was going, 'Wow. Surely be to God, you have your programme and you do a bit of running or a bit of gym work where you're in a place like New Zealand where you can get outdoors and do it'.
"It was my first real test as a manager. I said I'd have to find another way around this fella. He was leaving a week later and I left it till just before the day he was leaving. I pulled him aside and said, 'While you're away now, I want you to have a think about why you're doing this. What do you want to achieve when you come back? Where you think you can get in the game and how you think you can improve'.
"He was looking at me and it wasn't really landing with him. I says, 'Listen, you know what you'll do now, take a football with you and work on your passing'. He started laughing. I said, 'Wow'.
"That same guy came back from his holiday and a couple of guys had left the panel [that] I had let go in the meantime. One was his housemate. He came home from his holiday and he walked off the panel. He told the local media first and told me by text message. That was that, he was gone.
"That was very challenging. You were dealing with a mindset that I couldn't understand. In the long-term, they will be good experiences for me."
This is going out exclusive to the podcast this evening at 8pm... great insight and craic with @pgal10 on all things Gaa. A clip of his battles with the great Noelie Leary here!!!🏐😆 #comhráletomás On all other platforms tomorrow evening 👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/s2sXYLjOul
— Tomás Ó Sé (@tomas5ky) July 12, 2020
Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile