'Fortunate timing' lands Fitz

Chairman praises Dunne

Brendan Furlong

Published 15/10/2016 | 00:00

Liam Dunne has a consoling handshake for Davy Fitzgerald after Wexford's replay win over Clare in Innovate Wexford Park two years ago which removed the All-Ireland holders from the championship
Liam Dunne has a consoling handshake for Davy Fitzgerald after Wexford's replay win over Clare in Innovate Wexford Park two years ago which removed the All-Ireland holders from the championship
Club delegates Andy Kavanagh (Ballygarrett-Réalt na Mara), John Morris (Marshalstown-Castledockrell) and Marty Breen (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown) at Friday's County Board meeting in Enniscorthy
Philip Howlin, George Foley, Diarmuid Devereux and Dermot Howlin - four members of the committee which recommended Davy Fitzgerald - at the special County Board meeting held to ratify the new boss

Wexford County Board Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, has said the appointment of Davy Fitzgerald as Senior hurling manager was down to 'fortunate timing'.

Now the Chairman hopes that the new boss, who was unanimously ratified at a special County Board meeting on Friday night, can help the Model county break into hurling's top six, while he also paid tribute to the outgoing Liam Dunne.

'It was just fate really,' the Chairman said when referring to the circumstances surrounding the appointment.

'We heard that Davy had left Clare, or was about to leave Clare, and sure there is no County Chairman in the country who wouldn't have sought a meeting with him.

'From the time I started speaking to him until right up to last Thursday, I just knew that there was something between Wexford and Davy that would work.'

While he expects the 2017 campaign to be a time for Fitzgerald to bed in his ideas and improve structures further, he is confident that the former Clare All-Ireland and National League-winning manager can get the Model county side competing for honours.

'We're number nine in the league. We've had some good wins, but we want to move from nine up the ladder, maybe to six, get into the top six and into the shooting areas for titles down the road.

'The target is to move on the good work over the last five years and move us from number nine in the league to number six. If we could achieve that in three years, I think game on.'

A 1996 All-Ireland winner, Liam Dunne spent five years at the helm and, despite being interviewed for the position last week, was ruled out of the running.

Devereux paid tribute to Dunne for the role played since his appointment in late 2011, referencing his influence in the structures put in place that saw success for the Under-21 and Intermediate teams.

'Liam and I came together five years ago when Wexford hurling was on its knees. Everybody knows that, we were going absolutely nowhere,' he said.

'We knew we probably had five years together. We had a fantastic relationship. I can't speak highly enough of the man. Five years is a long time in hurling but Dunne understood the impact a fresh voice would have in the dressing-room. I'd say one of the first people to pick up the phone and ring Davy Fitzgerald and congratulate him was Liam Dunne.'

With development squads in place, 15 hurlers set to feature in next year's Fitzgibbon Cup, and three college teams competing in the 'A' grade, Devereux added that Fitzgerald's proven record with getting the best out of youthful squads was a critical factor in getting the post.

'His passion and hunger for hurling is something that has to be seen to be believed. I have never met anyone with as much passion to take on a job,' he added.

Meanwhile, the search for a new Wexford Senior football manager continues.

The Chairman said he hoped to have further developments on a possible successor to David Power this week.

Wexford People

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