16:21, 11 Jun 2012
Manager Jason Ryan says that Wexford's current strength in depth helped push them over the line in yesterday's Leinster SFC quarter-final replay win over Longford in Tullamore.
The sides were meeting for the fourth time this year, and Longford had the upper hand after group phase and final wins during the league.
A tense quarter-final finished level at Croke Park last weekend, but yesterday there was a chance for Wexford to shine.
"It is the changing strength in depth of this group of players," Ryan said in the immediate aftermath of the 1-13 to 0-15 victory.
"From the team in 2008 that got to the All-Ireland semi-final there is one player playing in the same position and that's Anthony Masterson in goal. We have an awful lot of new faces.
"Coming into the game today we had David Murphy, Ciaran Lyng, Aindreas Doyle, Andrew Shore and Michael O'Regan out.
"They are five guys that would be starting or either pushing for places, so it was a big, big blow. We were still able to bring on players that made a big difference.
"I'm just proud of them. It's a good day for the group today because the squad got them through the game and I'm really happy with that."
However, Ryan's heart did go out to a Longford side who kicked nine wides, including three clear-cut goal chances with Paul Barden missing two of those.
"Yeah it does, I do feel for all of them. They have had a fantastic year and I'm sure as it goes on who is to say you won't be playing them again?
"I don't know about luck. I think it was solid endeavour from start to finish that even when things didn't go right the guys kept on going.
"We got a few yellow cards in the first half. Key players in key positions and that could have gone against us. The players are learning all of the time and they are gaining experience all of the time.
"It is no longer a team built around Philip Wallace and Matty Forde and Rory Stafford and these kind of guys.
"There's a whole new batch of them coming through and today is a big day for them - it's great to get the win."
Ryan was particularly pleased for Redmond Barry who was one of the heroes of the contest for Wexford, netting their goal and also the match-winning score.
"I'm delighted for him. He is so many years at it and he has wonderful skills. Sometimes he gets so much attention from the opposition that we don't get a chance to see some of his outstanding finishing abilities.
"It's great for him to have that. The last day was great for Adrian Flynn to get a bit of credit for his wonderful scores and today there was a chance for a few other guys to be able to show what they could contribute."