Davy Fitzgerald explains why he dropped pre-match team talks


Davy Fitzgerald believes he has evolved as a manager during his 13 years in the inter-county game.

“I’m definitely doing a lot better,” Fitzgerald said.

“Probably when I started I would be a little more ruthless. Now what I’m trying to do is understand the person and be there for them.

“I think a lot of these guys from Wexford know they could call me. I think a lot of the guys from Clare knew that if they really wanted something, all they had to do was call me. . “

Hurling icon Davy Fitzgerald is pictured at the launch of Londi’s sponsorship of the Fittest Family of Ireland. Londi will sponsor RTÉ’s hit TV show for a third consecutive year, which returns to our screens on Sunday October 31 for a ninth season.

Part of that development has been the move away from pre-match team discussions. Gone are the days when tables were knocked down before players walked out the locker room door.

“My belief is that you should have done most of your work the week before,” Fitzgerald said.

“The last two or three days, if I didn’t get it right, then you’re wasting your time. That’s my belief.

“On game day, the less you say, the better. Making a few changes is more important than actually speaking. You might need a harsh speech at some point.

“With Wexford, our physiotherapist would take out the guitar and we would put out a song before going out. Why not make them feel good? Why not?

“I want the players to feel good, to feel relaxed. Something like that. They could come up with their own poem. We’ve done this before, something that makes sense. It has to make a little sense, and a little freedom before going to play.

“You go into an arena, I don’t want you to be tight, tense or nervous about making mistakes. That’s how I think I have evolved a little more over the past few years. Wasn’t maybe like that the first number of years. Definitely the last ones, I wish I was more like that.

“I had to learn that. When I was with Clare [as a player], and so-called big managers who are with clubs or whatever … There would be only one way, boy, to almost roll down the locker room door and get out.

“We have a different generation, different people. You have to see it differently. What we did wouldn’t work now, that’s for sure.”

davy fitzgerald talks about the team
July 17, 2021; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 match between Clare and Wexford at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Piaras Mídheach / Sportsfile

With Henry Shefflin getting the go-ahead to become Galway’s new manager, it’s likely that Fitzgerald won’t be involved in an inter-county squad next year. Currently, he has no plans to become a TV expert, but it is not a decision he is ruling out.

“The only difference I would have with some of them is that I’ve been there for 14 or 15 years on the sidelines,” Fitzgerald said.

“Some of the people who commented on it are players. Yes, they understand that, but trust me, there is a huge difference between sitting on the sidelines and being there.

“I’ll have a point of view and the thing I’ll try to tell myself is if I do, ‘Don’t be mean. Don’t attack someone just to get it. It is “.

“There are people who have commented on things that I have done, and I know there is nothing wrong with them… I might not agree with them but I would be happy enough. that they are trying to come from the right place. There are people who have tried to try. I don’t like it, and I might go back. That I don’t.

“There must be some substance in what you are saying. Believe me, there are tips that one or two experts have given that have been really good advice.”

Featured Image: July 3, 2021; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald speaks to his players ahead of the Hurling Leinster GAA Senior Championship Semi Final match between Kilkenny and Wexford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly / Sportsfile

See also: “This is not true” – Davy Fitzgerald denies the accusation of Paul Galvin Wexford

Davy Fitzgerald's team talks about Wexford

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