Search icon


27th Jun 2019

“If there’s a day when Davy would roll the dice, it might be Sunday”

Conan Doherty

Back in 2013, Davy Fitzgerald surprised the country and he left that trick for the biggest of days.

Clare had made it to the All-Ireland final playing with an extra defender the whole way through the championship and, come the first Sunday in September, bang. Fitzgerald went orthodox. It paid rich dividends with Shane O’Donnell at full forward left isolated one-on-one and he bagged himself a hat-trick in the replay.

He hasn’t really done it yet – played 15 on 15 in a traditional sense – whilst he’s been in charge at Wexford Park but Derek McGrath has a feeling in the pit of his stomach that Davy Fitzgerald could have a surprise in store for Brian Cody on Sunday.

Kilkenny stand in the way of the Model county’s first provincial title since 2004 and the former Waterford manager thinks that replicating the moves of 2013 could work because of Wexford’s pace.

On Corbett & McGrath’s Big Build-Up, in association with Centra, Derek McGrath used the tactics board to highlight exactly how Wexford could change things up to force Kilkenny into a man-on-man situation and offer space to the full forward.

Watch it here:

“I’m just wondering will Davy roll the dice,” he pondered.

A big part of that thinking is because of what happened in the game between the two counties two weeks ago when TJ Reid was held scoreless from play and the Wexford backs showed that they are capable of coping with the Kilkenny firepower.

“Because of the fact that Matthew O’Hanlon did so well on TJ the last day, because Paudie Foley did so well on Walter Walsh, will he back his men to say, ‘you have the protection of the half forward line, you’ll have the two corner forwards out wide and deep which will leave a wall of five across the half forward line,’ and will he say, for the first 20 minutes, ‘I’m going to try and isolate maybe a Rory O’Connor.'”

Important to that reshuffle would be the position of Lee Chin who has been versatile under Fitzgerald but, if selected centre forward, it gives the Cats a problem they can’t ignore.

“If he puts Chin at centre forward, he might be a fella that Padraig Walsh has to go with. Padraig Walsh can’t sit back if Chin is centre forward.

“I just have a feeling that, if there’s a day where Davy would roll the dice, it might be this Sunday.”

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race ūü§¨ | Who will win the Premier League?