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Tuesday 25 September 2018

Davy Fitz: I'm not thinking of any other county or club at the moment

At the M. Donnelly Poc Fada Finals launch in Croke Park (l-r) Kevin Moran of Waterford,
Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald, Brendan Cummins of Tipperary, Martin Donnelly
of MD Sports, Anthony Nash of Cork and James McInerney of Clare. Pic: Sportsfile
At the M. Donnelly Poc Fada Finals launch in Croke Park (l-r) Kevin Moran of Waterford, Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald, Brendan Cummins of Tipperary, Martin Donnelly of MD Sports, Anthony Nash of Cork and James McInerney of Clare. Pic: Sportsfile

Davy Fitzgerald has pledged that "the only people I will be talking to over the next three or four weeks will be Wexford," despite being linked with the vacant Dublin hurling manager's job.

Speaking yesterday in Croke Park at the launch of this year's Poc Fáda competition, Fitzgerald didn't reference the Dublin job or specifically deny interest in the role either in the immediate or longer-term.

He did, however, stress: "I'm going to be involved in the GAA," next year at some level but had issues at home to address first before making a decision whether to continue with Wexford.

He also repeated that the 247 mile round trip from his home in Sixmilebridge to Wexford - which he made "three or four times a week" since last December - had taken its toll over his first season in charge there.

"No matter what happens, I'm going to be involved," he explained, after appearing as something of a surprise guest at the launch.

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald on the sideline. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald on the sideline. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"Logistics…we've just got to weigh up that. I've just got to chat at home and they're the big things.

"And let me make this clear: I have loved my year in Wexford.

"As I told you, I could end up with my club next year. I don't know what the story is. I'm not thinking of another county or another club at the moment.

"Like, the only people I will be talking to over the next three or four weeks will be Wexford. I am going to just sit down and have a chat at home and then have a chat with them.

"We'll sit down and discuss it. I think you do know that from Clare to Wexford isn't the most straight forward spin you could have three or four times a week. Let's see what happens."

Clowns

Fitzgerald acknowledged that "some clowns," had talked up his candidacy with other county jobs but reiterated his desire to stay for at least one more season in Wexford.

"I love where I'm at," he repeated. But it's 2 hours 45 to 3 hours (of a drive) and there's certain elements at home that I have to consider.

"I'm not going to tell ye the ins and outs of it but...my heart loves what I'm doing.

"I love being there but there is one or two elements that I have to consider and listen, the next few weeks I'll sort that out and there won't be a problem.

"I could not say enough about how I feel there, I have unbelievable time and respect for these Wexford lads. They'd do absolutely anything for me."

Referring to his recent spat with former Offaly hurler and pundit Michael Duignan which escalated from his criticism of Wexford's tactics, Fitzgerald insisted: "I'm actually not totally upset about this lad."

Duignan's assertion via his Twitter account that "sweepers should be outlawed," met a ferocious response from Fitzgerald immediately after his team's All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Waterford in Páirc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday.

In his media interviews afterwards, Fitzgerald pointed out that Duignan and Henry Shefflin - who was equally damning - had "never managed a team at a high level."

He then went on to suggest that "RTÉ should go and have a look at themselves and get analysts who have been on the sideline and who know what the story is."

In his newspaper column on Monday, Duignan then directly hit back, urging Fitzgerald to "grow up."

"I just wanted to make the point that there's two sides to every story," Fitzgerald stressed yesterday, insisting he had no animosity towards Duignan.

"If he came in there now and said hello to me I'd say 'jeez, no problem'.

"He has to be able to take it as well. They're good at giving it out and I don't think they're great at taking it."

Asked whether he was surprised the row had escalated in the manner that it had, Fitzgerald replied: "I actually think it's no harm, I think a bit of debate is no harm.

Negative

"I had two media personnel ring me yesterday and say, 'the more I look into this there could be something in what you're doing'.

"I said, 'Will you just look at it for what it is, don't think of it as negative. Just look at it'.

"It isn't nearly as defensive minded as what you're thinking. That's just because you're looking at it a certain way."

Fitzgerald, who underwent minor heart surgery last year and has been advised by his doctor to take a year out of management, describes himself as "more relaxed".

He will undergo a medical check up in September but says he doesn't expect there'll be a problem.

"No matter what he says I have my life to live and I'm going to fecking live it. That's the way I want to be," he insisted.

"I could really take it easy and do nothing at home but I'd be feckin' miserable.

"And there will come a time when I might not be able to do it and that will come," Fitzgerald added.

"But you know, I feel OK at the moment."

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