Wicklow stalwart Stafford comes out of retirement

November 28, 2017

James Stafford of Wicklow with Matthew Cody and Graham Carty of Wexford

New Wicklow manager John Evans has brought James Stafford back into the Garden County's squad two years after the midfielder announced his retirement from inter-county football.

Stafford had an impressive club campaign with his native Rathnew this past season, helping them to their fourth county title in five years and a Leinster quarter-final upset over St Vincent's earlier this month.

Evans has since convinced the 35-year-old to re-join the county set-up and is confident the his experience can benefit the team next season.

"The Rathnew lads are coming back in after some extra time off and yeah he is coming back in," the Kerry native told The Irish Times.

"He's one player I seen in Wicklow that's improved in every game. And I think there's a lot more in him still. I seen him in the Wicklow championship and in the Leinster championship and the thing about him was that he was getting better and better with more games, so it was an obvious decision to ask him back. And he's giving it a go.

"He's got great experience and he'll be an example for a lot of the younger lads in the panel. An example for commitment, because if there is one thing James Stafford brings that is commitment, and his skills of course too."

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