Sunday 25 August 2019

'I text back 'Good man Davy' and three laughing faces' - Rory O'Connor thought Wexford call-up was hoax from school mates

Rory O'Connor of Wexford
Rory O'Connor of Wexford
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Rory O'Connor was in such disbelief when called into the Wexford senior hurling by Davy Fitzgerald as a Leaving Certificate student that he text back thinking it was a school mate playing a prank.

The Model star had been invited in by Fitzgerald at the start of his tenure in the autumn of 2016 but turned it down to focus on his studies only for the call to come again in the build-up to his exams.

The exciting attacker, whose brother Jack is also part of the panel, presumed it was a hoax and only took it seriously when confirming Fitzgerald's number with his brother after a follow up call.

"I was called in for the start of the year meeting and I was obviously mad to go in and Mam and Dad were like, 'Look, you've your Leaving Cert'" O'Connor said at launch of Physio Led Personal Training at Sports Physio Ireland.

"And I was, 'Yeah, you know what…' I wanted to go off on holidays and all after the Leaving Cert and do all these kind of things and I said, 'Look, sure I'll leave it off, there's plenty of years ahead of me'.

"Then in May we had the club season, we had a hurling match and we were playing Oulart and I got on fairly well and then I got a text message off Davy.

"At the time in sixth year, lads would be messing around. I sent back, 'Good man Davy' and three laughing faces! He rang me then in class and then I text Jack asking him what's Davy Fitz's number. They matched.

"He asked me to come in, so at that stage all we were doing was studying during the day and there was nothing to do at night time so I went in and trained away, done a little contact work.

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"I got called in in May, snook onto the panel for the Kilkenny game in Wexford Park, got onto the panel for the Leinster final and then had two weeks before the All-Ireland quarter-final."

O'Connor would go on to make his championship debut and perform with aplomb in their All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Waterford and the 20-year-old has been one of Wexford's finest performers in the past two seasons.

For Wexford to safely secure their passage out of an ultra-competitive Leinster SHC round-robin series this summer, they will need the St Martin's forward at his very best once again.

In our hands: Wexford’s Rory O’Connor believes Davy Fitzgerald can lead them to provincial success. Photo: Sportsfile
In our hands: Wexford’s Rory O’Connor believes Davy Fitzgerald can lead them to provincial success. Photo: Sportsfile

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