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Match Preview: v Wexford FC

SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division: Athlone Town AFC v Wexford FC

Date: February 16th, 2024

Kick-off: 7.45pm

Venue: Athlone Town Stadium

As the excitement builds up for the season opener between Athlone Town AFC and Wexford FC, we are eager to see how this encounter unfolds at the Athlone Town Stadium. With the kick-off scheduled for 7.45pm, both teams are looking to start their campaign on a high note. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this much-anticipated match.

Dario Castelo stated, “It’s great to finally get going and we are happy to begin at home”. “For us it is important to put everything into practice that we worked on in preseason. The team are looking forward to it” he added.

Team News

Athlone Town AFC enter this season with high hopes and a refreshed squad. During the off-season, we’ve made several signings in key positions to bolster our ranks, aiming to improve on last year’s playoff place. The team has had a good pre-season, getting much needed minutes into players in friendly matches. However, there are a couple of injury concerns, with Jamar Campion Hinds still sidelined with injury and Ruben Candal a doubt for the opening match.

Wexford FC, on the other hand, has also been active in the transfer market, bringing in young talents and experienced players to enhance their squad depth. Their fans would have been delighted to have secured the core of last year’s squad that achieved a fourth place finish last season. A familiar face to Athlone Town Fans Thomas Oluwa signs on a permanent deal. Wexford are likely to be without Cian O’Malley who has missed most of pre-season through injury.

Past Encounters

Athlone Town and Wexford FC have had a number of closely contested encounters in the past seasons, with the teams playing four times last season and both teams winning two of their games. Historically, matches between these two have been unpredictable, offering plenty of excitement and lots of goals. With both teams looking stronger and more ambitious this season, this opening game is expected to be no different.

Key Players to Watch

For Athlone Town AFC, much will depend on their new signings, especially the attacking players who have impressed in pre-season games. But key for Athlone will be central defender, Dylan Hand who returned to the club after eighteen-month spell away and will be crucial in organising the backline and keeping Wexford’s attackers at bay.

Wexford FC will rely on Wexford native Mikie Rowe, who joined from Galway United. He will be under the spotlight, and we expect him to bring goals to the impressive front line of Wexford.

Match Tickets
Tickets for the game can be purchased by clicking here.

Referee Team
Referee
Chris Sheehan
1st Assistant Referee: Conor Harkin
2nd Assistant Referee: Sean Stephens
4th Official: Mark Moynihan