"I want the lads to realise there's only a certain amount of time, 'let's make the best of this'" 1 month ago

"I want the lads to realise there's only a certain amount of time, 'let's make the best of this'"

Davy Fitzgerald has a memory like an elephant.

He remembers a referee beckoning him from the tunnel out to the pitch at half-time during a Clare game, just so he could give Davy a "dressing down" in public.

He will never forget another referee telling his LIT centre forward that 'your manager doesn't help you, you better get up.' He too remembers the time he felt James Owens had wronged his team with a decision only to retrospectively realise that Owens was right, and he was wrong.

He rang up James Owens to apologise.

When all is said and done, Davy Fitzgerald is a hurling person who lives and breathes the game, and all he wants is a game that flows like it was meant to flow, and isn't being pulled every twenty seconds for border-line technical fouls.

"Blow for the stuff that you need to blow for, let our game flow," he said on Thursday's GAA Hour.

Wexford beat Dublin on Saturday night in the League but afterwards, the Clare man was seething. That was because he'd watched a game marred by unnecessary stoppages and cards. This stop-start nature persisted right throughout the game and on balance, Fitzgerald feels managers should be allowed to communicate with referees when this is the case.

"I look at refereeing decisions, and if I'm not happy with things, you'll know I'm not happy with it...If you feel strongly about something and if you feel you have a case, to me there should be an avenue you can go down..."

"I hate being dismissed - 'ah it's only Davy on again, get rid of him' - that's a total lack of respect towards us...I wouldn't mind getting an opportunity to ask a question, I can guarantee you, I might be annoyed but I'd be calm enough to just ask the question..."

"You need to bring all the referees out for dinner or something," reasoned Wooly.

As for the Wexford way, Fitzgerald wants his players to play with freedom and belief, to realise that they have a brilliant opportunity on their hands.

"I want to empower my players to make their own decisions, and I think the lads will tell you, they'll make their own choices. I want them to have choice, I think hurling is an unbelievable game...I feel the way we play at the moment allows players that freedom..."

"My biggest thing out of the GAA is when you win things you're not meant to win...all the medals in the world, you can't buy that... I want them lads, the 36 lads to play on that, to want to be in the thick of that and to be changing people's lives..."

"I want the lads to realise, there's only a certain amount of time we can play top-class hurling, let's make the the best of this...I like having the players feeling that they're able to talk to you...

"The way we were managed, would not happen now," he said, a nod to the methods deployed by men like Ger Loughnane who managed Davy in his time.

An All-Ireland title is the dream and when pushed, Davy feels that Limerick are the leading contenders in the race for Liam MacCarthy.

"To me, Limerick would be a fraction above the rest. So they would be the team, you're saying, we've got to be there or thereabouts with them..."

You can listen to the most recent GAA Hour episode here.