Paul Galvin's appointment as the Wexford football manager came somewhat out of the blue.

No one could question the on-field credentials of the Lixnaw man, who won four All-Irelands with Kerry and claimed three All-Star awards before retiring from ahead of the 2016 season.

His managerial record is far less substantial, with a stint involved in TG4's Underdogs in 2018 the extent of it.

"There were rumours going around that Paul might be getting involved," midfielder Niall Hughes tells the RTÉ GAA podcast.

"No one really knew, or not, and then it was confirmed."

Forward Conor Devitt remembers the day more clearly.

"We were actually golfing that day in Courtown. I checked the phone, and one of the lads had texted us.

"South East Radio had put up a tweet to say Galvin had been appointed, so obviously we were delighted."

Hughes in Wexford's new jersey this week

It would be fair to say that Wexford football can only head in one direction. In the last decade, the Yellowbellies reached a Division 1 Allianz League final in 2005, while also getting to the last four of the All-Ireland championship three years later.

The county also appeared in a first Leinster final in 52 years in 2008. The day didn't go to plan, as Dublin blitzed them, but when the counties met again in 2011, the game was much closer.

An Anthony Masterson error gifted the Dubs a soft goal, which ultimately proved to be the difference between the sides.

Since then, it's been a steady decline, which saw Wexford finish sixth in Division 4 of last year's league, and exit the championship after a heavy qualifier defeat to Derry.

"It will take time to rebuild, but Galvin's arrival has been a boost," according to Devitt.

"He's been and done it with Kerry for years, so it's been great to have a lad of his calibre come into us.

"There's a bit of an onus there on movement, going forward with the ball. It's refreshing enough because of the way football has gone; a lot of back and forth, and running.

"It's a clean slate, and Paul has taken his ideas to us, and it's up to ourselves to bring it to the games.

"Obviously we're just going to learn from him over the next few months, and hopefully bring that into league and championship."

Wexford saw a chance of a rare Leinster title slip away in 2011

There has been differing views on what format the All-Ireland football championship should take, with the GAA voting in October to introduce a second-tier competition for Division 3 and 4 counties who fail to reach their respective provincial finals.

Last week, the Gaelic Players Association released recommendations for reform of the championship, which included the introduction of league stages for the All-Ireland competition.

Some of these proposals could be voted on at the GAA's Special Congress in late January, and that could mean another new format for the football championship in 2021.

Either way, Wexford, as a Divison 4 county, are likely to be playing in the second tier competition next year, and the Kilanerin clubmen are in favour of the move.

"I'd be for it," says Devitt,

"Realistically we're not going to win a Leinster or an All-Ireland, with the likes of Dublin, Mayo, Kerry, or Tyrone.

"An opportunity to play teams at your own level, and to win a national title is appealing."

October's vote could open the door to big change for the football championship

Winning a Wexford and then Leinster intermediate title with their club in 2017 were "the best few weeks" of Hughes's football career, and he is looking forward to the different challenge of the new format.

"In the qualifiers, you might go up and play someone from Division 1 and get a beating," he points out.

"When you're playing teams at a similar level to your self, you feel confident that you might have a chance of winning."