While some counties are at the point where they've nearly more management team members than actual players, Seamus McEnaney is bucking the trend down in Wexford. The Monaghan native made headlines when he was ratified as manager before the start of this season but one aspect which escaped our notice was the tiny backroom team he brought with him.
It consists of just two men; namely selector David Murphy and trainer Marty McElkennon.
McElkennon has been Banty's righthand man in the past, enjoying most notable success with Monaghan, while Murphy is presumably in there in particular for his knowledge of Wexford football. However after that there is no one else involved and that's the way McEnaney likes it. Speaking to Damien Lawlor on RTÉ's GAA podcast this week, Banty said:
I believe that some managers spend too long managing their management team, rather than the most important thing, which is managing your group of players...
You just spend too much time looking after all these people. You're trying to get this fella happy and that fella happy, and this fella doing a job, and you spend longer going round them than if you did the job yourself.
In typically boistrous fashion, he added that if a manager can't decide whether or not to play a player unless he debates it with four or five people then, well, he basically has no business doing the job. You can listen to the discussion, from 29:45, below:
Whether he's right or wrong in his methods, within a sport that he describes as professional in all but name, remains to be seen but given Wexford's start to the season it's hard to argue with Banry at present. It's also a method that could save county boards everywhere plenty of money, provided they're not already forking out a lot of cash on the main man already.