independent

Sunday 19 August 2018

Davy close to decision

Twelve players visit Clare in bid to get manager to stay

Will he or won’t he? Davy Fitzgerald is set to make a decision on his managerial future in the near future
Will he or won’t he? Davy Fitzgerald is set to make a decision on his managerial future in the near future

Brendan Furlong

Wexford players have been quick to move in an effort to secure Davy Fitzgerald's future as their Senior hurling manager.

The players' bid to retain the managerial maestro took on a whole new twist when up to a dozen of the squad made the journey by bus last Saturday morning to the Banner county, to demonstrate their support to have him remain at the helm for 2019.

Following the All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Clare in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, on Fitzgerald's own admission, the players approached him one by one, seeking out his support and pleading with him to remain as their manager for 2019 at least.

However, Fitzgerald was non-committal given the quickness of the approach, given that it came so quickly after yet another disappointing All-Ireland quarter-final display.

Now the players have taken their bid a step further as twelve of them travelled to meet Fitzgerald on home territory in a bid to convince him that his managerial future lies with Wexford for another year.

With Fitzgerald having such a close relationship with the players, and given their willingness to make the journey, it could have a real bearing on his eventual decision.

'I have a very close relationship with the players which is something I will be considering.

'I am not that far away from making a decision but the latest move of the players will be taken on board when arriving at this,' he said.

'We are not that far away as a team but I have other matters to take on board in arriving at a decision.

'The decision will be sooner rather than later.

'This is a first for players to travel and make such an effort to keep a manager.

'I will be taking all of that on board,' Fitzgerald added.

With all of Wexford's inter-county commitments for 2018 now completed, all eyes are now on Davy Fitzgerald, and whether he will remain at the Senior hurling helm for another twelve months.

Although Wexford hurling had appeared to have made a breakthrough during Fitzgerald's first year in charge, they failed to replicate their Leinster final appearance of 2017, although they achieved success in retaining their Division 1A status in the National League.

When Fitzgerald was convinced to come on board by then Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, he was set a three-year goal of promotion to Division 1A, qualifying for a Leinster final, and bringing Wexford into the top six. This he achieved within his first twelve months in charge.

Given the respect that Fitzgerald holds among the players and the hurling fraternity in the county, many feel that it's important for the Clare man to remain at the helm for 2019.

Should the appointment come to pass, many will be looking to the 2019 Leinster hurling championship as the main emphasis, while managing to preserve their league status without such an emphasis on heavy pre-season training.

It will be important to plan a training schedule to peak for the championship.

With Galway and Kilkenny, and a revitalised Dublin, looking to the year ahead with many points to prove, a fresher Wexford would add to a provincial title race to savour.

Following upon the dismal display of the Wexford Under-21 side in their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Cork in Nowlan Park on Saturday, many feel that it's more necessary than ever for Fitzgerald to announce his intention to remain as manager, since the loss of Clare maestro, coupled with the demoralising Under-21 defeat, could be a fatal blow to hurling in the county.

'I did not attend the game as everyone would be reading into it. I watched it on TV. It was a disappointing result,' Fitzgerald added.

While the Pettitt's Senior hurling championship is up an running, Fitzgerald will not be attending games until he arrives at a decision regarding his future.

Wexford People

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