RETIRING Waterford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald today said he had no regrets about his time as Decies boss, but that it was time for a new man in on the side-line.
With Donal O’Grady also stepping down in Limerick and Jimmy Barry Murphy confirmed as Cork boss, it was a busy night on the GAA front.
Fitzgerald's departure from Waterford wasn't a surprise but O'Grady's decision not to accept the offer of an extension is a major setback to Limerick, given the progress they enjoyed this season.
O'Grady had always been adamant that he would stay just one year with Limerick after replacing Justin McCarthy and last night he was as good as his word.
Fitzgerald met Waterford chairman Tom Cunningham last night to inform him that he did not wish to be considered for a fifth successive year. He had been given a one-year extension 12 months ago which expired when they lost to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Whether he would have got approval to continue from the county board has been open to question since the seven-goal mauling by Tipperary in the Munster final. His departure clears the way for Fitzgerald to link up with his native Clare, who are looking for a new manager since Ger O'Loughlin's resignation in July, but Galway may also consider Fitzgerald if it is decided not to continue with John McIntyre. McIntyre was in Athenry last night delivering his review of the season.
Fitzgerald's replacement in Waterford will find a young panel to work with and after three 'outside managers' -- Gerald and Justin McCarthy and Fitzgerald -- there may be a temptation to stay 'inside' this time.
Meanwhile, representatives from the eight counties who should have been playing Division 1 hurling in 2012 will meet in Thurles today to start co-ordinating their opposition to the proposals passed at Central Council. Officials from Kilkenny, Dublin, Cork, Tipperary, Galway, Waterford, Limerick and Wexford will see if they can campaign to have the decision reversed.