Saturday 18 November 2017

Davy stays in hot seat

Manager commits for another year with Wexford hurlers

Brendan Furlong

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald before the All-Ireland Senior hurling championship quarter-final against Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald before the All-Ireland Senior hurling championship quarter-final against Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Davy Fitzgerald has revealed that he is remaining on as Wexford Senior hurling manager for 2018 while it is also hoped that he will remain in the role for the following season.

After just one season in the job in a county that became infected by his energy and enthusiasm in the job, Fitzgerald revealed that after much soul searching he is remaining at the helm for another season.

The Sixmilebridge native had requested some time to weigh up whether he would remain at the helm, prompting speculation that he was interested in the vacant Dublin job, although that is believed not to be the case.

However, the former Clare and Waterford manager, had to think about the toll that a return car journey of more than five hours from his home to the Ferns Centre of Excellence was having, while also having some personal commitments to consider.

'I needed some time out but now I've decided to remain on as manager.

'The County Board has been very patient and brilliant with me in giving me the time to arrive at this decision.

'As regards my backroom one can take it will be very much the same as this year.

'As I've just arrived at the decision I will be discussing the backroom over the next few days but I expect it to be the same, very much so,' he said.

Fitzgerald's backroom team is likely to be the same as those he had this year, J.J. Doyle, Seoirse Bulfin, Paraic Fanning and P.J Ryan.

Incidentally Doyle will take charge of UCD this year for the Fitzgibbon Cup, replacing Nicky English who did not seek a return to the post.

When appointed to the Wexford role last October, the 45-year-old former Clare manager had to contemplate life in Division 1B, but he succeeded in awakening the sleeping giants, by gaining promotion to Division 1A and qualifying for a league semi-final where they lost out to Tipperary, coming after a famous quarter-final victory over arch rivals Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.

Fitzgerald turned down the Wexford job twice saying it took repeated advances from County Board Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, before he was eventually persuaded to return to inter-county management, having shortly before stepped aside after five years in charge of his native Clare.

Fitzgerald led Clare to the All-Ireland title in 2013, while on taking the Wexford job entered his 28th consecutive season in the elite level of hurling, having first broken into the Clare panel as a young goalkeeper in 1990.

He accomplished the two year goal set out for him in Wexford by Devereux within the first six months, promotion back to Division 1A of the league and bringing Wexford back into the provincial final with their clash against Galway attracting a record 62,000 crowd.

During that six months, Fitzgerald's led Wexford had some wonderful accomopolishments, being the only county to record a victory over now All-Ireland champions, Galway, recording a league victory in Salthill for the first time, defeating Limerick in their opening league game, while also dismissing Kilkenny from the provincial championship title race.

With the Wexford hurling championship now at the business end of affairs, Fitzgerald and his backroom will be taking in club action over the coming weekends as they seek out new talent to bolster their squad.

Wexford People

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