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Sunday 15 September 2019

Davy set to stay on

Hurling boss to remain in role for two years

28 July 2019; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald prior to the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
28 July 2019; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald prior to the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Brendan Furlong

Davy Fitzgerald is on the verge of announcing his decision to remain on as Wexford Senior hurling manager.

Fitzgerald, who has been at the helm for three years, took time out to consider his position following the devastating All-Ireland semi-final defeat to the eventual champions, Tipperary, but it now looks as if he is about to declare his intention of staying in the role.

Fitzgerald is in it for the long haul as he continues to build the Model county towards the Holy Grail, the Liam MacCarthy Cup, as he is set to return for a further two years at the helm of hurling affairs in the county.

There is no doubt that hurling is his passion, as immediately following that All-Ireland semi-final defeat he threw himself in with his home club, Sixmilebridge, steering them to consecutive county championship victories in his native Clare.

He has spoken openly about his love affair with Wexford hurling and the players, and is clearly of the opinion there is unfinished business.

And it's these considerations that are attracting him back to continue his role as Senior hurling manager for a further two years.

Fitzgerald will not be swayed away from Wexford by the extent of the journey, although he made more than one hundred trips to the Model county during the 2019 league and championship campaigns.

In his three years, Fitzgerald has achieved, and continues to achieve, but he is left with one solitary task: bringing the county to an All-Ireland final.

He has more than achieved the goals set out for him by then Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, on his appointment, bring the county to Division 1A and a Leinster final, thereby into the top six hurling counties.

The evolution of the team, and the nurturing of fresh talent, was part of the process that helped them to a National League semi-final, promotion to Division 1A, qualification for a Leinster final, and the lifting of the Bob O'Keeffe Cup this year at the second attempt, as well as being just a stroke of a ball away from an All-Ireland final.

The hurling chat in the county since that All-Ireland semi-final has surrounded one name, and one name only: Davy Fitzgerald. Is he staying or going?

Wexford's support base and the players are craving that he remains at the helm and continues his marvellous impact on the game in the county, with the game now the leading sport amongst adults right down to those old enough to hold a hurley.

Hurling has been a focal point, and it is all down to that one man, Davy Fitzgerald.

Creating a culture and a growth mindset are big drivers in his coaching philosophy. A lot has changed in Wexford hurling, which has been on a real journey.

Now the county is up among the top four leading sides, looked upon as serious title contenders for 2020, with players back in the running for All Star recognition, while Lee Chin and Diarmuid O'Keeffe were selected on the 'Sunday Game' team of the year.

With the canny Fitzgerald in charge, one can look forward to 2020.

His first mission on his return will be taking his squad to New York for the Fenway Classic along with Tipperary, Limerick and Kilkenny.

Now all that awaits is Fitzgerald's announcement at the County Board meeting this month, where he will join with Karry stalwart Paul Galvin, the Wexford Senior football manager, as they prepare to steer their respective sides through 2020.

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