Sport Hurling

Thursday 22 February 2018

Davy Fitz extends Deise stay

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Davy Fitzgerald was last night ratified for two more years as Waterford hurling manager. Fitzgerald was the nomination of the four-man selection committee put before a full meeting of the board.

If he sees out the two years it will take his involvement with the county to five championship campaigns.

The outgoing manager beat off the challenge of three other interested parties -- former Kilkenny captain Eddie O'Connor, a former selector to Justin McCarthy, Michael Ryan, and Jim Greene, once manager of Mount Sion, who recently had a spell with Carlow. Fitzgerald was always expected to continue once he had the backing of the chairman Tom Cunningham and the executive.

He has been at the receiving end of criticism from some of the most experienced Waterford players in the last few years. At the end of 2008, Dave Bennett and Paul Flynn both questioned elements of Fitzgerald's management, while Dan Shanahan and Ken McGrath were both less than complimentary after this year's exit. Both players felt Waterford had become too defensive.

However, Shanahan and McGrath -- like Bennett and Flynn in 2008 -- had both failed to cement permanent places during the championship season.

Significantly, this year's captain Stephen Molumphy gave Fitzgerald his unqualified backing in the wake of the All-Ireland championship semi-final exit to Tipperary.

Irish Independent

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