DAN SHANAHAN has insisted that the Waterford players were not behind the appointment of Davy Fitzgerald as manager to replace Justin McCarthy in 2008.
The common perception is that the players moved against McCarthy and were then instrumental in getting Fitzgerald in, but Shanahan insisted last night that was not the case.
Speaking ahead of the launch of his autobiography, Shanahan said the players first knew Fitzgerald was in line for the job by the way he was “smiling” on ‘The Sunday Game’ the night before he was appointed.
“The players mentioned a lot of names but he wasn’t one of them. You could (tell) by the grin on his face that they were after speaking with him. We partly guessed it was him.”
Shanahan, who has been critical of Fitzgerald’s emphasis on tactics since he retired in August, revealed that the pair argued on their first night training together. “I shook his hand the minute
I got in the door, but I could see in the first night or two we were going to have problems. I enjoyed his training, however,” he said.
‘Big Dan’ was unhappy with his substitute role under Fitzgerald and believes there are other players who feel the same way but are afraid to speak up.
“It was hard to sit back and watch people get on ahead of me with just two weeks training when I had six or eight months done,” said Shanahan. “I wasn’t the only substitute thinking that.
You can be sure there are other fellas sitting down there who aren’t happy.” Shanahan admitted his biggest regret – apart from missing out on an All-Ireland – was not shaking McCarthy’s hand when he was substituted during a championship game.
“I regret it. I didn’t expect I’d get the stick I got after it. Who needs that? I’m only an amateur player,” he said.