Sunday 17 December 2017

Davy Fitzgerald gives a brilliant example of a surprising time when he lifted Clare's drink ban

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

For the first time since the 2013 season when they won the All-Ireland title, Clare are back in the quarter-finals.

The Banner saw off the challenge of Limerick in Thurles last Saturday night to take their place in the final six and manager Davy Fitzgerald is understandably happy with his side's progress.

Fitzgerald appeared on Off The Ball on Newstalk tonight in a lengthy interview that touched on a wide range of subjects from the standard of punditry in the GAA to drink bans for inter-county teams.

In a riveting chat with Joe Molloy, Fitzgerald revealed that he isn't the joyless dictator that many portray him as, with the three-time All-Ireland champion telling listeners about a memorable occasion when he was very lenient about lifting the team's drink ban.

"When we drew the first All-Ireland final [against Cork in 2013] did I stop the lads from going out?," Fitzgerald said.

"I said go out and enjoy yourselves and we'll worry about it later."

The Clare manager also spoke candidly about what he described as the unfair expectations that local media personalities put on the Clare team. Fitzgerald argued that underage success doesn't guarantee senior All-Irelands, and that some journalists and pundits are too harsh in how they judge his team.

"Local media is horrendous and it is not something I'm happy about," Fitzgerald said about the pressure the Clare press put on the team.

"Some of the local journalists don't come from hurling backgrounds and some of my former team-mates, they've never managed at a high level."

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