"If he doesn't get to the All-Ireland next year, it will feel like a disappointing year for Wexford" 3 months ago

"If he doesn't get to the All-Ireland next year, it will feel like a disappointing year for Wexford"

It's hard to find many managers with universal approval from a squad of players.

Generally, there will be a sub section feeling aggrieved. Some will just have lost a bit of respect along the way for something minor that they probably went looking for. Others will have their own WhatsApp group dedicated to taking the piss out of the same person.

Time does that to a leader in charge of the same group night after night, month after month and season after season when they're not winning the championship at the end of it.

Somehow, Davy Fitzgerald has proven the exception to that rule in Wexford. Even with all the emotional energy he's famously said to summon from his teams, even after two years of no silverware, the Model county's hurlers landed down to Clare to ask their manager to stick with them. Nine months later, they delivered Wexford's first Leinster title in 15 years and they did it together.

"The players actually got a bus down to Sixmilebridge in Clare," Lauren Guilfoyle spoke about Fitzgerald on PlayXPlay.

"They went down to convince him to come back this year."

Listen to that conversation from 25:18 here:

After the defeat to Tipperary, the Clare native was too drained to make a decision on his future but certainly seemed like he could do with the break.

"I hope he stays on but I don't know if he will," Guilfoyle said.

"It's a long trip down to Wexford, it's an awful lot of pressure and the way it's gone this year, if he doesn't get to the All-Ireland final next year, it's probably going to feel like a disappointing year for Wexford. They'll feel like they regressed."

As a player at provincial and international level, Jenny Murphy can see why Davy has that impact on his teams, especially with the commitment he shows himself.

"When you're giving that amount of time and you're probably putting yourself under financial strain to do it and when you love your coach and you want to work for him or her, it does give you that extra bit of bite or that bit of, 'I'm able to get up at five o'clock in the morning'," Murphy said.

It is something that can ultimately take its toll in the end though, even though it obviously hasn't run its course in Wexford just yet.

"He has that effect on teams," Guilfoyle explained.

"He goes somewhere for two or three years and gets the most out of them but that's what some people think is his downfall too, that he gets so much out of them in the first two or three years that that effect then kind of wains a little bit."

Listen to the full discussion here or subscribe to PlayXPlay here.