‘There was one or two times last year, when the weather was really bad and I met four crashes on one day there’

THE ARRIVAL OF a group of Wexford players to his home in Clare did surprise Davy Fitzgerald as he was deliberating over his future with the county senior hurling side but he’s ‘delighted’ to be remaining in the post for 2019.

Wexford hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Fitzgerald was mulling over whether to commit again to the Wexford cause for a third campaign with the extensive travel required from his Clare home an obvious consideration to weigh up.

“I was wondering. 120 trips up and down to Wexford is a lot of trips. I was saying to the lads back there, there was one or two times last year, when the weather was really bad and I met four crashes on one day there, going up the dual carriageway, it was carnage.

“You do wonder at times, you’re not getting back to 1 o’clock at night. You can get tired. But I really enjoy it. I love going down to Ferns, I love meeting the caretaker Seamus, sit down and have a cup of tea.

“Then do my stuff. It feels good. You get over the driving. There’s nothing like being involved in the middle of it.”

The delegation of Wexford players gave Fitzgerald notice that they were travelling to meet him.

“They let me know. They gave me 24 hours’ notice, fair play to them. So I couldn’t go any place! They knew that there was something else that I could have done besides managing the team. They just wanted to let me know how they felt.

“They’re a great bunch of guys. Absolutely delighted to stay on with them. When you’ve a good few of them arrive down to your house, mad for the road, it was an easy enough decision at the end of the day.

“Listen, I’m not going to keep all of them, there’s no way a manager can keep 36 guys happy. But in fairness, we get on very well. I was surprised to see them all come down. The lads that couldn’t come down texted me. 99.9% of the lads were in touch with me, so it was nice to see. I suppose I’m going into nearly year 30 at the top level. It’s a lot of stuff, it’s a lot of years.”

Wexford’s Lee Chin, Peter Duggan of Clare, Sean Finn of Limerick and Patrick Horgan of Cork at today’s 2018 Fenway Hurling Classic Launch.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Lee Chin explained the decision to travel from the viewpoint of the Wexford players.

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“We gathered as many as we could. It was pretty much a spur of the moment kind of thing. Unfortunately, a couple of lads couldn’t come down but we got the majority of the panel down to him. The rest of the guys did their bit by giving him a call or sending him a message to show their appreciation.

“We took it upon ourselves as players to really show him what he means to us. We really appreciate him in Wexford and we love working with him. We thought it’s the least that we could have done it get down to see him and in some ways we wanted to sympathise with him.

“We understand his situation with travel and his other commitments and his own personal life. Obviously, we were being somewhat selfish in saying that, ‘Look, we want you back.’

“I think Davy is the kind of man who would never commit to something that his heart is not in. This is why he’s there. I don’t think it’s just for us going down to him. It probably pushed him towards that decision a little bit more and we’re just grateful that he did.”

Davy Fitzgerald celebrates after Wexford’s Leinster championship win over Dublin last May.

Source: Tommy Greally/INPHO

Wexford’s performance in their All-Ireland quarter-final exit to Clare disappointed Fitzgerald and he felt their ‘edge was kind of gone’ at the close of the season.

“I was disappointed because we didn’t play like we can play. I would be the first [to admit] Clare were better than us on the day.

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“If you had seen Wexford during the year, we were putting in hits, we were playing serious ball, that same intent wasn’t there. I’m not making excuses but I’ll give you a fact, Wexford for the last ten years would have played on average two big games, played a quarter-final, played two or three championship games, an average of six games a year and win probably two of them.

“We played 15 this year. So you go from six to 15 this year, and we won nine. I kind of went to the well a bit too much at times, maybe I just need to time it a bit different.

“Maybe not put out the team in the Walsh Cup all the time, I just have to look at what I do a bit more smartly. It just looks like our edge was kind of gone at the end.”

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