'Behind all the flak, Davy is loving it' - Banty
Wexford football manager Seamus McEnaney doesn't feel sorry for his hurling counterpart as he sucks up an eight-week suspension - because, he reckons, Davy Fitzgerald is "loving it".
"Davy will be the last man in Ireland you could feel sorry for. Davy is well able to handle anything that's coming to him," McEnaney stressed.
"I can tell you, behind all the flak, he is absolutely loving it. It's a dream come true for him. He's going to have to work up in the stand. Do you think that will affect Wexford? It will galvanise them.
"Listen, you fellas know Davy better than I do - you know that this will galvanise Davy's dressing-room. No matter how big the battle is, he's absolutely loving it."
The Monaghan native was unable to answer whether Fitzgerald is still training the hurlers, adding that "thankfully" he never got suspended during his managerial career and so was unaware of the "ins and outs of it".
'Banty' was full of praise for the impact of his fellow managerial import. "He's a great character, I think he's been great for Wexford hurling," McEnaney reflected.
"He got them promoted basically after two games, his first two games. I also think that with the hurlers going well, it's helped the footballers. There's a certain level of competition there that one set of players doesn't want to see the other set of players streaking off ahead of them."
Meanwhile, Jim Gavin is confident that his recently sidelined defensive trio of Jonny Cooper, John Small and Jack McCaffrey, along with forward Cormac Costello, will all be fit for Dublin's Leinster SFC opener against Wexford or Carlow on June 3.
He is similarly hopeful that Michael Darragh Macauley will shrug off a recent knock picked up on club duty with Ballyboden St Enda's.
Cooper hasn't featured since the Tyrone game in February with an ankle injury. "He's back on the pitch," said Gavin, while the recently hamstrung Costello "should be playing with Whitehall in 10 days' time."
He said Macauley was injured for 'Boden but was now "with the physios and should be okay ... the plan is that he'll play with the club and we'll see how that progresses over the coming weeks."
Asked if he'll be ready for June 3, Gavin said: "My focus is on getting him back for his club, Ballyboden St Enda's - that's where we want to see our players.
"That's why when the (Dublin) CCC approached me before the end of last year to look at the plan, I really welcomed that four-week block of two rounds of the hurling championship and two rounds of the football, it's very healthy for our players," he added.