Saturday 16 December 2017

Davy Fitzgerald stands firm on unrest rumours

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald reacts during the game
Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald reacts during the game

THE day that was in it, it was probably inevitable that Davy Fitzgerald spoke after Clare’s win over Dublin on Saturday night.

Not only was it their first in the League but it came on the same day as Davy O’Halloran

went public with his ‘double standards’ barb after it emerged that he and Nicky O’Connell had left the Clare panel.

“You seen what’s there,” said Fitzgerald. “And that’s what’s with me for the next two or three years in Clare. And I’m looking forward to working hard with them.”

At face value, it was an innocuous line but given Clare’s troubles this year, their dud season in 2014, the exit of a cluster of dual players from the squad, Saturday’s revelations and rumours of player discontent, it was probably pointed.

“In Clare, we do things properly, there is a code of discipline and that’s it and we’ll just drive on,” he said, addressing the issue at hand. “The lads have been great, absolutely fantastic.”

When asked whether O’Halloran’s claim that another, more senior player had breached those disciplinary boundaries in a more serious way, yet had escaped the bizarre and slightly draconian sanctions, as described by the now ex-Clare panelist, Fitzgerald said it was not the case.

“A 110 per cent. And that’s all I’ll say,” he added. He did not, however, admit,

deny or address the nature of the punishment – a sort of Shannonside

Guantanamo, where the offenders (O’Connell and O’Halloran were guilty of being seen

out socially in February, though both were injured and hadn’t consumed alcohol on the night in question) were forced to train separately from the team and were forbidden from sharing a dressing-room, wear official Clare gear or even address other players during sessions.

“I am very, very happy that we have done everything correct and I know the players are as well. The bottom line is the lads aren’t bad lads, they are good

lads and I wish them all the best with their clubs going forward.”

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