‘It’s like Premier League’: Fitz
TWO of the highest-profile managers in the GAA have waged into the debate now raging over the increasing commitment faced by inter-county bosses and whether they should be paid.
All-Ireland SFC winning supremo Pat Gilroy insists that he would never give up his day job (as MD of facility management company Dalkia) to manage the Dublin footballers on a full-time basis.
But Clare hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald (pictured, left)– while staying tight-lipped on the payments issue - claimed that GAA managers are now living in a pressure-cooker atmosphere akin to the Premier League, adding: “You are nearly going to get the boot if something goes wrong.”
Gilroy declared: “If someone said ‘you’ve to give up your job to do football’, I wouldn’t put my hat in the ring for it. My career is important to me - this is my pastime and what I enjoy doing. If it was my job, it wouldn’t seem the same for me.
“It is a massive amount of time and commitment, but I really enjoy it and the way it works for me is fine. I could totally understand guys in different counties thinking differently - we don’t have big distances to travel in Dublin.”
Meanwhile Fitzgerald, who spent almost four years in charge of Waterford before switching to his native Clare, said: “I love doing what I do but the hours involved are absolutely crazy.
“You have no idea of just what is involved, dealing with players that are injured, organising the training sessions, talking to players one-to-one, going over DVDs of your own games and of future opponents, making sure that every little detail is spot-on for the players … it’s a bit like running your own little business.”
Kenny front-runner for Crokes
FORMER Wicklow manager Hugh Kenny is the latest to be linked with the managerial vacancy at Kilmacud Crokes.
The Stillorgan outfit have been without a senior football boss since Paddy Carr stepped down last autumn. Several high-profile names have been associated with the post – including Crokes clubman Tomás Ó Flatharta, who ultimately wasn’t available, and former Dublin senior Ciarán Whelan who elected to take up the managerial vacancy in his own club Raheny - but Kenny has now emerged as favourite.
While Carr led Kilmacud to All-Ireland glory in 2009, his potential successor has his own cherished playing memories of the club championship, going the St Patrick’s Day distance with Baltinglass in 1990.
Elsewhere on the Dublin club circuit, 1983 All-Ireland winner Tommy Conroy is moving into the hotseat at his native St Vincent’s for a second time.
It has also emerged that St Brigid’s will be opposing the transfer application of Declan Lally to neighbours St Oliver Plunkett’s/ER.