The 2017 season was all about consolidation and building for the future at Ferrycarrig Park. After Wexford Youths' relegation from the Premier Division the previous season and the rebranding of the club, the Slaneysiders took a while to find thei
The 2017 season was all about consolidation and building for the future at Ferrycarrig Park.
After Wexford Youths' relegation from the Premier Division the previous season and the rebranding of the club, the Slaneysiders took a while to find their stride last term.
However, Damian Locke's side did improve steadily as a difficult season wore on and they can take some crumbs of comfort from the fact that, after spending long periods at the foot of the table, they managed to overhaul Athlone Town and finish second from bottom in the First Division.
Their biggest problem was unquestionably a lack of a cutting edge, scoring a paltry 16 goals from their 28 league games, an issue that will certainly have to be addressed if they are to make a greater impact this campaign.
Star Player: Thomas Croke
In a tough season, when hitting the back of the net proved a real struggle for Wexford FC, Croke certainly stepped up to the plate, with his six goals making him the team's top scorer. It has recently been announced that the midfielder will remain at the club for the forthcoming season.
What They Need for 2018
A regular goalscorer: Despite bringing in the talented Aaron Dobbs on loan from Shamrock Rovers last season, Wexford FC really struggled to hit the back of the net. Danny Furlong scoring goals from all angles must seem like a distant memory for the Ferrycarrig Park faithful and how they could do with a striker of his ilk now. It would be asking a bit much to expect anybody to get anywhere near his record 30-goal haul, but a front man who could at least reach double figures would be a good start.
Backing of the public: Wexford FC will be hoping for increased stability off the field, as they adopt a community focussed model, with the Wexford Supporters Trust taking ownership of the club. Getting the public on board is key to a bright future and seeing more bodies coming through the turnstiles would be massive boost to the players.
Realistic Targets For 2018
Improvement on last season: With the reintroduction of the promotion play-offs it will give plenty of clubs something to aim for, but realistically after the travails of last season a mid-table position would be a decent return for a young squad.
Promotion of underage talent: Wexford FC are putting a lot of time and effort into their under-19, U-17 and U-15 squads and will hope to bring some new talent through.
Players like Danny Doyle and Dean George have already shown they're capable of making the step up to the Senior side and manager Damian Locke is certainly not afraid of giving youth a chance.
Best Signing Made So Far
Wexford FC haven't made any moves in the transfer market to date, but have announced last season's top scorer Thomas Croke will remain at the club, as well as new club captain Ross Kenny, Dean Kelly, Mikey Byrne and goalkeeper Danny Bolger, giving them a solid base to build from.