It was a tough time for everyone involved in Wexford Camogie in the spring, as the seniors began the National League without a manager and unable to field a team.

This was a shocking turn of events for a county that had begun the decade by winning a second Liberty Insurance All-Ireland title in four seasons and the first of a famous three-in-a-row.

It was no surprise that they ended up being relegated to Division 2 and in the circumstances, getting their summer campaign under way against the might of neighbours and deadly rivals Kilkenny at Bellefield this evening (5pm) does not seem ideal.

There is a sense of pragmatism about the camp though.

For a start, they have had a few months with new manager Barry Kennedy and his coaching staff. A number of players have returned to the fold too, and the contingent from All-Ireland Club finalists St Martin's are sure to strengthen the panel.

Prominent among those is Chloe Foxe, who has quickly established herself as a key player at county level.


Someone who has always set the bar high, be that in sport (she also plays ladies football for Wexford) or in academia, it goes against the grain not to view ultimate honours as a legitimate target.

While not interested at all in discussing the League travails, because she sees no virtue in it, the 22-year-old acknowledges that Wexford are at the bottom of the ladder, and that the current phase is about rebuilding.

"I tend not to spend a lot of time looking backwards," Foxe says.

"It is what it is. We have come around to the fact that we are going towards the future now.

"People in Wexford Camogie, and everyone everywhere, we are looking towards the All-Irelands of the past for way too long. It is finally coming into recognition that we are looking into this transition phase or whatever they like to call it. We are firmly looking towards the future anyway.

"I came in at a time, and a few of the girls came in at the same time, where we were still holding onto the possibility of winning All-Irelands. There was a great buzz around it. To come down off such a high like that, and now come to realise it is not going to be the same in that regard is hard.

"The players coming in don’t have this understanding of what it means to play Wexford Camogie at county level. The young girls in particular, they don’t see it as how we saw it, as this great thing. It is difficult to actually show them what it means until you get to the stage of an All-Ireland Championship."

There are many positives to this new era and Kennedy and his fellow mentors have cast the net far and wide in search of players hungry to wear the purple and gold.

"It’s a really fresh squad. It used to be a way in Wexford that you would have only had a couple of clubs that made up the first 15. But we are in a situation now where nearly every club is represented. That is really good for the underage and the young players coming through. They see players from their club and feel that playing for Wexford is an attainable goal."

St Martin’s loss to Slaughtneil in the All-Ireland Club decider last March was devastating.

"I say it is the closest thing to grief that I ever came through"

"I say to people, and it might sound drastic, but I say it is the closest thing to grief that I ever came through. A lot of the girls would have agreed with me in that respect as well.

"It was difficult because everyone broke away after the All-Ireland. I always think it is important to stay with team-mates because those are the people who can really understand everything.

"Going straight back into college it was definitely very difficult that week. Other girls were doing different things. It was hard but it creates a fresh new hunger for this year."