Lee Chin was hit with a lot of abuse last week after his decision to attend the GAA’s All-Star awards ceremony instead of togging out for Wexford Youth’s crucial tie against Drogheda United which cost the South East side its place in the top tier of Irish Football.

Chin was brought into the squad late on to help Shane Keegan’s side out who were struck with an injury crisis late in the season. They were set to lose 5 players from the squad to New Zealand based Southern United FC. Before signing up with Youths he made it known that the GAA is where his loyalties lie.

The decision made by Chin to choose the award ceremony, in which many believed he would have no chance of receiving an All-Star, over a promotion/relegation play off was quite simple for the hurler. Committing himself to Wexford hurling all year and getting nothing for it is tough to take but, for Chin, getting a nomination for the All-Stars was huge.

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Chin at the 2016 GAA All-Star awards

He spoke with Sportsjoe.ie last Wednesday, “I gave up my whole life to give Wexford hurling my time and my effort. Then I get an All Star nomination and for me, it means a lot… To give up that night to go to a soccer game – something I’ve been involved with for the last five or six weeks – it didn’t really add up.”

Lee Chin is a hurling man and at the end of the day hurling is where his heart is. A man who, before scoring a cracking volley in the first leg against Drogheda, was being rated quite poorly in his performances leading up to the play offs. His debut against Bray Wanderers ended quite badly with Chin looking quite inexperienced in the central defence with the game ending 3-1. In fact, he was only involved in two wins for Wexford in his seven games with the club while being on the end of three hammerings. In his owns words, Lee Chin was not the winning or the losing of Wexford Youths season.

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Lee Chin playing for Wexford hurlers against Dublin

What’s funny is that, if the All-Stars ceremony wasn’t on last week, Chin would have missed both legs due to his plans to fly to Shanghai to promote the Asian Games. Youths manager, Shane Keegan, even admitted after the game on Friday that Chin probably wouldn’t have started and the only reason for his start in the first leg was due to an unfit Gary Delaney.

People seem to have watched Chin’s volley and suddenly think he’s a top quality player who is crucial to the Wexford team but the truth is that he is not. He has helped dig Wexford out of a hole and for most Wexford fans he has done enough.

Chin didn’t seek out the possibility of playing with the League of Ireland side and wasn’t planning on staying long. He has done them a huge favour and didn’t really get anything back for it, and quite frankly, he didn’t owe Wexford Youths anything.

Andrew Byrne