Tuesday 6 December 2016

Fitzgerald sets stiff schedule as Model make fresh start

Michael Verney

Published 01/12/2016 | 02:30

Davy Fitzgerald: fresh faces
Davy Fitzgerald: fresh faces

Davy Fitzgerald will take the Wexford hurlers down the challenge game route in December and January as he looks to unearth some fresh faces and become familiar with the talent at his disposal.

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With games against Waterford (two), Dublin, Carlow and Cork this month, a minimum of three Walsh Cup encounters early in the new year and two further practice games planned, the former Clare boss is leaving no stone unturned as he looks to make a mark on Slaneyside.

At least ten games will be played before the Model men tackle Division 1B in February, with the 2013 All-Ireland-winning manager explaining that he's starting from scratch as he begins his latest inter-county adventure.

"I've got to see all the players. Each and every player in that 41-man squad will be given an equal chance. They will all be given game time, the same type of attention to details," he said.

"The problem is, this is not like Clare where I knew every one of the players, so that's my goal in Wexford, getting to know all the players, through training, challenge games, Walsh Cup and meetings.

"I've got to see the players, and get to know the players. I've got to see them in game situations. It's from there we are really going to start building."

Displeasure

Elsewhere, GAA director general Páraic Duffy has taken steps to sway Tipperary's negative stance on a proposed football championship revamp by presenting his case to Premier officials at Tuesday night's county board meeting.

Tipp were the first county to issue their displeasure with the proposal, which includes the introduction of a 'super league' for the quarter-final stages, stating that it would put a further squeeze on club fixtures, but their minds may have been changed.

Interestingly, given how Tipp's footballers fared this year, their club championships would have been freed up by a further three weeks under the proposed guidelines.

Duffy was generally well received, and with the initial decision made before the full document was published, he noted that a lot of early comment on the proposals was misinformed. With all the facts now available to them, Duffy asked Tipp officials to make an informed decision ahead of Congress in February 2017.

Meanwhile, following the recent news that Karl Lacey and Frank McGlynn will play with Donegal for at least another year, Rory Gallagher looks set to hold onto another stalwart for 2017 after declaring that veteran midfielder Neil Gallagher will return, injury permitting.

Irish Independent

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