Monday 5 December 2016

Davy: I walked on my terms

Banner boss brings five-year tenure to a close after players were 'divided' on his future

Published 22/09/2016 | 02:30

Davy Fitzgerald has insisted that the decision to resign as Clare hurling manager was
Davy Fitzgerald has insisted that the decision to resign as Clare hurling manager was "entirely his own". Photo: Sportsfile

Davy Fitzgerald has insisted that the decision to resign as Clare hurling manager was "entirely his own" as he confirmed he wouldn't take charge of the Banner for 2017.

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In a statement released last night, Fitzgerald confirmed that he wouldn't serve the final year left on his deal with the county board.

Fitzgerald, who is currently on holiday in the US, had asked senior players to ascertain the mood among the squad as to whether they wanted change in management.

And he took the decision to walk away after he learned that the squad were 'divided' on whether he should remain at the helm for a sixth season after a meeting they held earlier this week.

"In light of the. . . divided opinions expressed by players, I have decided that it would be in the best interests of Clare hurling that I step down from the role of manager," the statement read.

However, Fitzgerald stressed that he had not been asked to walk away but left in the best interests of the squad.

"I was not asked to step down," he said. "The decision is entirely my own. In taking this decision however, I wish to reaffirm my absolute love and passion for Clare hurling."

The double All-Ireland winning goalkeeper went on to describe managing the Banner as one of the "greatest privileges" of his life and expressed confidence the squad would win another All-Ireland title.

"I will cherish the memory of seeing so many happy Clare faces when in 2013 we won what was only the county's fourth All-Ireland title and again in Thurles last May when we were crowned National League champions for the first time in 38 years," he said.

"The Clare players were heroes on both days and it is my belief they will lift Liam MacCarthy again in the near future.

"I want to thank the supporters and acknowledge the many people who travelled great distances to support their county.

"I leave the Clare job with a heavy heart but full of confidence that there will be further great hurling days for the Banner County," concluded the statement.

Clare will start the process of finding a new manager, with former All-Ireland winning captain Anthony Daly among the early favourites to take charge for the new campaign.

Irish Independent

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