Saturday 25 February 2017

Davy Fits Clare bill

Lure of native Banner may prove key

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Davy Fitzgerald: Lure of native Banner may prove key
Davy Fitzgerald: Lure of native Banner may prove key

Davy Fitzgerald has been tipped as the man most likely to succeed Ger O'Loughlin as the new Clare hurling manager.

Even as Fitzgerald fine-tuned Waterford's preparations for Sunday's Munster hurling final against Tipperary, his name was being touted as the most likely replacement for 'Sparrow,' who has stepped down after two years in charge.

Fitzgerald and Waterford agreed to just a one-year extension of his tenure last September and while the work he has done in bringing a new generation of Waterford hurlers through is acknowledged, the lure of managing his native county can't be overlooked.

Fitzgerald, whose father Pat is the long-serving secretary, has never hid his desire to manage his native county at some stage in the future and his name will be at the top of any shortlist drawn up in the coming months.

Clare County Board are not likely to move on a new manager until Fitzgerald's position becomes clearer.

If Waterford were to successfully defend their Munster crown this weekend, it would make it much more difficult for Fitzgerald to walk away.

The other potential candidate is the current U-21 manager John Minogue, who steered Clare to an All-Ireland triumph at this level in 2009. Minogue was a Clare senior selector with Cyril Lyons and Lyons is now a selector with Minogue at U-21 level.

It is most unlikely that Anthony Daly, who managed Clare between 2004 and 2006, would make himself available at this stage, as he continues his progress with Dublin.

O'Loughlin stepped down citing the need for a "new voice" after a heavy beating by Galway in the qualifiers last weekend.

Clare lost four championship games over two years and have remained rooted in Division 2 of the league during that time.

Irish Independent

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