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'They're A Unique Bunch Of Players. They've Been Wrote Off A Lot'

'They're A Unique Bunch Of Players. They've Been Wrote Off A Lot'

On Sunday, Sixmilebridge achieved a feat the club had not seen since 1993. O'Callaghan's Mills were defeated by eight points as the Bridge won their second consecutive Clare title, their 15th over all.

When the club last won two-in-a-row, Davy Fitzgerald was standing between the posts. At the weekend, the Wexford manager - just as he did last year - was on the sideline as a coach with Tim Crowe the main man in charge.

The past eight years has been a hugely successful period for Sixmilebridge, one in which they've won five titles.

"They're a unique bunch of players," said Fitzgerald on Tuesday.

"I think for these players they've been wrote off a lot, I know at the start of the year that there was a question mark that they wouldn't do back-to-back over them and we used that a good bit.

"There was talk that 'our backline isn't good', [that] was said over a number of years. I find it the more you motivate these lads and get them up for a challenge, they love a challenge.

"Do you know what? Anything you ask that bunch to do, they'll actually do it. Before I got involved with them, they had won three titles probably playing a different style of hurling, next thing you go to change the style and they didn't have a problem with it.

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"It was very enjoyable working with them but these guys have won five championships and I've a feeling that they still have a bit of hunger in the belly to see can they do more."

Wexford senior hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald, reflecting on some of the golden moments of his career at the EirGrid Official Timing Sponsorship launch. EirGrid, the state-owned company that develops and manages the flow of electricity across Ireland, has been a proud partner of the GAA since 2015. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Remarkably, Sixmilebridge became Clare champions this year without scoring a goal.

"I think we conceded two all championship," Fitzgerald said in response to a question about the lack of green flags raised.

"I think we conceded one last year so in 10 games we've conceded three goals. I think Galway won an All-Ireland not scoring many goals.

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"Do they care? Whatever it takes to get over the line. We probably had two or three chances. We've had chances all championship, we just haven't converted them. I think our defending has been really good and when we've got chances to take points we've taken them."

As matters stand, Sunday is the end of Sixmilebridge's championship. There are no plans for provincial and All-Ireland Club Championships to take place. Fitzgerald would like to see that change.

"I definitely think it's worth revisiting," he said.

"It's the same with the National League. I do not agree with what they've done with the National League. I don't agree with it.

"The Munster Club, yeah if they get space in January and February, to run the Munster Club would probably take three weekends to run off. If they can do it, I do think every club would appreciate the chance.

"It's a long-standing tradition. I know that times are tough, but it makes it all the better if we can get through it. I believe that with every competition, if we can try and fit it in, I don't believe in shortening it or anything like that.

"Last year we met an unbelievable Ballygunner side. You would like another opportunity to see how you would get on in Munster and a lot of these boys have four or five county championships under their belts and they'd like to compete in Munster.

"Our style is another year down the road. We changed the style last year to a shorter game style and they've come on a bit. They would love an opportunity to have a go in Munster."

Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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