RTE's 'Documentary On One' today featured an interesting insight into the mind Clare hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald, and as ever the former All-Star and All-Ireland winning goalkeeper provided some interesting soundbites.
Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh followed Davy from the start of the Banner's season on January 3rd up until their defeat to Galway on the last Sunday in July. While Fitzgerald occasionally sounded exasperated with all of the interviews he had to do for the documentary, he nonetheless show a few different sides of his personality. Most notable was the self-doubt he expressed after the Galway defeat, where he made it clear he was considering a hiatus from the role of Clare manager.
Fitzgerald's side had a disappointing year, losing to Waterford in the Munster semi-final and then being knocked out of the All-Ireland by Galway in the quarter-finals. In the lead-up to that game, RTE pundit and former Liam McCarthy Cup winning manager Ger Loughnane labelled Galway "gutless" and said that "you can forget about this Galway team". In the aftermath of those comments, Fitzgerald publicly distanced himself and his Clare management side from what Loughnane had said, calling it "harsh".
And Fitzgerald spoke on the documentary about his distaste for the actions of his fellow Clareman, opining that Loughnane "didn't do much" for Fitzgerald and the Clare side over the last three years.
Even when he was in hospital I would have texted him most Fridays.
We would have come out publicly and said we don't agree with those comments.
And Fitzgerald admitted that he wasn't entirely sure as to what lay in the future for him.
I don't know what I want to do. Last year I knew 100% what I want(ed) to do.
I could see myself managing someone else, do something different. Because I love hurling so much.
Fitzgerald, a famously fierce competitor, admitted that this love for the sport was a "welcome distraction" during his health scare this summer, when he had to undergo minor heart surgery the week before the clash with Galway.
He acknowledged that "there's that thing I have inside of me" that drives him on ("if I have a game of cards on a Thursday, I'll want to win it") and it is this absolute hatred of losing that means he won't be turning on his television when the clocks strike 3:30pm next Sunday and the All-Ireland hurling final commences.
I'll not be watching the All-Ireland. I'll be golfing or doing something, I don't want to see it. I'd rather it was over and then I'd go over it again and start analysing it.
It's very hard when you've a team that could be in the All-Ireland that aren't there.