Thursday 17 October 2019

It was a pleasure chatting with Davy on maiden voyage

Brendan Furlong
Brendan Furlong

Brendan Furlong's Hop Ball

Wexford G.A.A. will be a lively place with Davy Fitzgerald, one of hurling's most colourful characters.

The new Wexford Senior hurling manager is a lot of things to a lot of people: passionate, proud, committed, but never dull.

You only see one side of Davy on the field, but off the field he is a very different character, very calm, very mellow, and very easy to talk to.

You see him regularly when he is animated. It's pure and utter passion. I'd say he has the biggest passion for the game that I've come across and he brings that out in the players.

Even after all those years one would not be sick of listening to him because he brings so much desire to the table.

No sooner had he departed Clare, than his name popped up in Wexford.

So you can't blame people for wanting to shake his hand in the stand as he made his way to his seat, but it was heart-warming to hear the reception for the new Slaneyside supremo.

This was my first time interviewing Davy in a one-on-one. It was an experience, but surprising as it may be to all of you readers, quite relaxed.

There was no theatrical performance, it was all about hurling, about Wexford, and his passion for the small ball game. One could see the passion for Wexford hurling in his eyes.

It was easy to imagine how he could cajole a group of players, and also easy to see his passion for hurling, and how he can impose himself on his players.

He will have a strong and experienced backroom team. One could see he will bring discipline, along with his fondness for innovative tactics, as he tries to marry two styles into the Wexford system.

Davy will be keeping a fire lit under his players so some interesting days lie ahead.

Fitzgerald, a two-time Celtic Cross winner as a goalkeeper, of course led the Banner county to All-Ireland success in 2013, along with the National League this year.

Davy has called for patience from Wexford supporters as he settles into his new role alongside his new backroom team.

They are committed to a three-year project. While things won't happen overnight, Davy and his management team will be doing everything in their power to put together the best group of players, creating the best environment for them to be successful.

Davy brought huge joy to Clare hurling. Let's hope he becomes a legend of Wexford hurling. Passion was worn on his heart and soul for Clare hurling, so now let's hope he can move that forward to Wexford hurling.

He was a real gentleman to interview as he trawled through his hopes for Wexford hurling. It was a pleasure meeting him in a one-on-one.

Let's hope he will have happy memories of his stay in Wexford.

Meanwhile, Oulart-The Ballagh's success in Wexford hurling continues as they put titles back-to-back at Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday, winning their 13th county Senior crown.

For Cloughbawn it was the bitter experience of losing a county final.

For what it's worth they made a real game of it for three-quarters of an hour, but it was in the final quarter that their lack of strength in depth came back to haunt them.

The reigning champions and co-manager Frank Flannery utilised their bench to the full. It was those fresh legs in the final quarter that eventually steered them clear of their opponents.

Not for the first time, the astute Flannery showed the shrewd tactician that he is, laying out his altered second-half gameplan to cut out the key first-half players that had the challengers leading at the break.

Now with the Dr. Bob Bowe Cup safely home for another year, much to the delight of their stalwart supporter 'Bumpy', who had the grass inch-perfect for his side, they can now look forward to defending their Leinster Club title.

For me personally, given other commitments, it was a quiet weekend reviewing the refereeing scene, but it was an impressive final performance from Justin Heffernan with five out of five, while Pádraig Byrne kept the Junior final free-flowing with four out of five.

Wexford People

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