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Davy Fitzgerald Explains Why He Ditched Pre-Match Team Talks

Davy Fitzgerald Explains Why He Ditched Pre-Match Team Talks
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Davy Fitzgerald thinks he's evolved as a manager during his 13 years in the inter-county game.

"I am definitely a lot better," said Fitzgerald.

"Probably, when I started out, I'd be a bit more ruthless. Now, what I try to do is understand the person, and be there for them.

"I think a lot of those Wexford guys know that they could ring me. I think a lot of the Clare guys knew that if they really wanted something, all they have to do is ring me."

davy fitzgerald teamtalks

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

Part of that evolution has been the dropping of pre-match team-talks. Gone are the days of tables being overturned before players walked out the dressing room door.


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

"The last two or three days, if I haven't got it right, then you are wasting your time. That's my belief.

"On the day of a game, the less you say the better. Making a few changes is more important than actually talking. You might need a stern talk at some point.


"With Wexford, our physio would bring out the guitar and we'd throw out a tune before we'd go out. Why not make them feel good? Why not?

"I want players going out feeling good, feeling loose. Something like that. They might come up with their own poem. We've done that before as well, something that means something. It has to have a bit of meaning, and a bit of freedom before you go and play.

"You're going into an arena, I don't want you tight, tense or nervous about making mistakes. That's how I think I've evolved a bit more over the last few years. I mightn't have been like that the first number of years. Definitely the last few, I'd like to be more like that.


"I've had to learn that. When I was with Clare [as a player], and so-called great managers who are with clubs or whatever... There would only be one way, boy, nearly take the dressing room door down and go out.

"We have a different generation, different people. You have to look at things differently. What we did wouldn't work now, for definite."

davy fitzgerald team talks

17 July 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 Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

With Henry Shefflin getting the nod ahead of him to become the new Galway manager, it's likely that Fitzgerald will not be involved with an inter-county team next year. Currently, he has no plans to become a television pundit, but it's not a move he rules out.

"The one difference I would have to some of them is I've been there for the last 14 or 15 years on the sideline," said Fitzgerald.


"Certain people who have commented on it are players. Yes, they understand it, but trust me, there's an awful lot of difference from standing on the sideline to being there.

"I'll have a view and the thing I'll try to say to myself is if I do it, 'Don't be nasty. Don't have a go at someone for the sake of having a go at them. Tell it as it is'.

"There are people who've commented on stuff I've done, and I know there's no badness in them... I might not agree with them but I'd be happy enough that they are trying to come from the right place. There are people who've tried to have a go. I don't like that, and I might have a go back. That, I don't like.


"There has to be substance what you say. Trust me, there is stuff that one or two pundits have given that have been really good tips."

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

See Also: 'Not True' - Davy Fitzgerald Denies Paul Galvin Wexford Accusation

davy fitzgerald team talks wexford



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