independent

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Davy creates hurling history

Leinster Senior Hurling final: First boss to win Munster, Leinster, All-Ireland, League

Manager Davy Fitzgerald with Conor McDonald and the Bob O’Keeffe Cup
Manager Davy Fitzgerald with Conor McDonald and the Bob O’Keeffe Cup

Brendan Furlong

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald knows how much this Leinster hurling title means to Wexford.

Defending the provincial format, he was keen to reflect on what was happening around him.

'Just look out there, this means so much to the Wexford players. Just look up into the stands and onto the Hill, this means so much to the supporters,' he said.

Not a single Wexford supporter left the Hill prior to joint captains, Matthew O'Hanlon and Lee Chin, lifting the Bob O'Keeffe Cup.

The scenes around the ground were special, as supporters young and old rejoiced on an unbelievable day for Wexford hurling.

The smiles that Davy and his players brought to the faces of the drought-ridden supporters said it all, and the joy on the face of the Clare supremo, with the odd tear dribbling down his cheeks, spoke volumes of what it meant to him.

Davy now goes down in history as the only man to have won Munster and Leinster provincial titles, an All-Ireland title and a National League, as a manager. What a marvellous achievement, but he did not allow it deflect away from what his special group of players had achieved.

Fitzgerald, in the immediate aftermath and amid the jubilant scenes, paid a special tribute to the players after they ended their 15-year drought to win a Leinster Senior hurling title.

Hailing his side's never-say-die attitude, he said: 'I think you can see it outside, the emotion is unreal. I suppose that's one of the things that keeps me going. I love seeing people happy and I love people smiling, It's been a long time.

'I knew when I went to Wexford the passion was incredible from the supporters who have been very good to us, but if I told you what I put them lads through, you wouldn't believe it.

'I am so happy for everyone of them, trust me I am so happy that they got over the line today and I'm delighted for them. There will be a lot of happy people in Wexford for a while.

'This bunch are never beaten. If you look at our games all year we were never beaten. We kept coming back even when we were down.

'I'm just delighted for them that they got their rewards and I just want them to enjoy every minute out there.

'That's very important and that's the great thing about hurling, anything can happen.'

On the final whistle, after Fitzgerald celebrated with his backroom team, it only took a matter of seconds before he raced onto the pitch to celebrate with his players.

Individually he made his way through the squad and there was that all-embracing hug, scenes that brought tears to even grown men in the stands.

'I f...... loved when that final whistle went. There's nothing that can't be achieved in life, or nothing that can't be done.

'People might say it's only a Leinster championship. A Leinster championship means so much to this bunch, it's incredible, and so much to the Wexford people.

'The emotion feels the exact same for me, whether its winning with Clare as a player or as a manager, winning with Waterford,' he added.

'Trust me, I believe the Leinster championship has been incredible. I'm delighted to be the champions of it, and see what happens from here.

'Just happy to see those boys happy. If I told you half the stuff them boys said to me when the final whistle went, it makes it so worthwhile.

'They have worked tirelessly to get here. I've seen what they have gone through. If I told you the training we did, you would not believe the stuff we did back in November, December. You would not believe it.'

Wexford People