DAVY FITZGERALD is now the clear favourite to become the next Clare hurling boss after his departure from the Waterford hotseat yesterday – but he says he hasn’t given a second’s thought to the managerial vacancy in his native county.
Fitzgerald’s father, Pat, is county board secretary at Clare, who have been on the look-out for a new manager since Ger O’Loughlin stepped down following their SHC exit to Galway.
“I haven’t even spoken to my father about the Clare job,” the two-time All-Ireland-winning goalkeeper said. “I haven’t met any officials from any other county because Waterford deserve that much respect.”
Fitzgerald’s decision to walk away after three-and-a-half seasons came as no surprise. He said the factor that made up his mind was the 100-mile trek to Waterford and “the thoughts of driving that road again”, but he looked back proudly on his achievements after taking over when Waterford were “in crisis” after being hammered by Clare in the Munster championship.
Writing in his newspaper column, Fitzgerald said it was a “shame” that a few past players were keen to have a go at him.
“Paul Flynn, I don’t even want to talk about,” he wrote. But while Dan Shanahan “had a book to sell”, he described the former Hurler of the Year as a “very decent, genuine guy”, and Ken McGrath, though not always happy with his decisions, retired in a “dignified” way.