2022 Season Review: Wexford Youths

Team: Wexford Youths Women FC

Head Coach: Stephen Quinn

Top Scorer: Ellen Molloy (16)

Stadium: Ferrycarrig Park

Biggest attendance: 929 v Shelbourne – 29th October (league)

Star Player: Kylie Murphy

Best Young Player: Ellen Molloy

Women’s National League player of the season nominee Molloy netted 16 league goals in 2022 and was well on her way to grabbing more before injury blighted the end of her season.

The golden boot was ultimately awarded to Peamount United’s Aine O’Gorman who scored 22 in this year’s campaign, but it is hard to believe Molloy is still only 18 years old – with such maturity and composure shown on the pitch.

Her Messi-esque skill and hungry eye for goal makes the Kilkenny native exciting to watch and worthy of all awards and nominations she has earned in her short career.

The youngster was named in the Republic of Ireland squad for the Finland and Slovakia fixtures in September, but risks missing a seat on the plane to Australia next year for the World Cup due to a serious knee injury sustained in a league win over Treaty United in late September.

Best New Signing: Meabh Russell

Russell signed for the 2022 season from Cork City and slotted comfortably into the Youths back line.

The Clonmel native had previous experience with the Republic of Ireland underage sides and became an integral part of Stephen Quinn’s squad throughout the season.

The Youths claimed six league clean sheets during the year with Russell being primal in the defensive duties and coming into the attack where needed. Russell netted against Bohemians in a 5-2 win in August.

What we expected they would do:

Before the start of the season, it was predicted that Wexford Youths would continue to be a dominant force in the WNL and FAI Cup.

Holding the record for the most league titles (four) and lifting the FAI Cup in a packed Tallaght Stadium last November, it was assured that the team from the Sunny South East would bring home at least one piece of silverware.

What they actually did:

Women’s National League

The league started off as well as expected for this Wexford team who made few changes to their 2021 line-up. With three consecutive wins, the first defeat was a heavy one with Peamount claiming a 4-0 home victory in April.

The Dubliners were the most problematic team for the Youths this season, with the remaining two fixtures ending in 3-3 draws. One of the more surprising results came at the Showgrounds in June when Sligo Rovers, who finished the campaign in eighth place with six wins, came away with all three points following a 1-0 victory.

From there however, the season ran steady for Wexford. Despite consecutive draws with Galway and DLR Waves, the Youths then went on a good winning streak – with high scoring wins against Bohemians and Cork driving their goal difference in the right direction.

With the season closing in, and an injury sending star player Ellen Molloy to the side-lines, it became more difficult for Wexford to keep up the good momentum they had during the late Summer.

A tough 2-1 defeat to in-form Athlone in the dying stages of the campaign followed by a draw with Peamount sent them into the most difficult task of attempting to grasp a league title on the final day of the season.

Shelbourne, who would lift the trophy following victory in Ferrycarrig Park, were unstoppable on the day with a comfortable 4-0 win. The result, alongside wins for Peamount and Athlone, saw the Youths finish fourth in a league that could have been theirs to win.

They can be happy, however, with a 56-point finish – just four off the winning team, in what was a particularly competitive and challenging year.

The squad kept a fantastic level of energy throughout the season and Kylie Murphy, alongside her league 15 goals, was an exceptional leader and her passion for the team was evident in her post-match interviews on TG4 – their live broadcasts being a huge boost to the Wexford side.


The Youths received a bye in the first round, sailing straight to the quarter-final stages where they secured a comfortable 3-1 win over DLR Waves in a bid to win their fifth FAI Cup.

The semi-final in September was not so easy as the fixture came at a time where the Youths were under pressure from all angles.

The league was closing in with few points between the top four teams, making it a very tight title-race. One of their most prominent players, Ellen Molloy, had just picked up a serious injury, and their opponents were one of the most in-form teams – Athlone Town.

The latter produced rather surprising performances throughout the year under Tommy Hewitt, who did an excellent job with pushing his team up the league table after their last two attempts since joining in 2020 left them in seventh place each time.

It was Hewitt’s side who dominated the semi-final tie with a 3-0 victory in Lissywoolen and walked away with a ticket to Tallaght for a showdown with Shelbourne.