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Dublin: -1 °C Sunday 18 March, 2018

'It's completely different' - Four-time All-Ireland champion enjoying life in Davy Fitz's backroom team

Mags D’Arcy has recently been appointed goalkeeping coach to the Wexford senior hurlers.

Mags D'Arcy (file pic).
Mags D'Arcy (file pic).
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

FOUR-TIME ALL-Ireland senior champion Mags D’Arcy is enjoying her time working alongside Davy Fitzgerald for the Wexford senior hurlers.

The two-time All-Star has come on board as a goalkeeping coach, and confirmed at today’s ‘Liberty Insurance Women in Sport, The Next Chapter’ symposium in Croke Park that she accepted the offer and got involved five weeks ago.

D’Arcy has lined out between the posts for the Wexford camogie side for the last 16 years but has yet to feature in 2018.

After a successful campaign with her club St Martin’s last year, D’Arcy stated that she was not in a position to re-join the inter-county panel when Martin Carey took over at the helm in January.

She’s been battling injury concerns and there’s a possibility of surgery to come. There’s a decision yet to be made there but for now, she’s keeping busy with the hurlers.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying it at the moment,” she said during the panel discussion.

“I’ve been brought in on the back of my — well, Davy likes to call it expertise, about five weeks ago. It’s a different challenge to that of playing. It’s completely different. It’s something I never thought I’d find myself doing.

“It’s an opportunity that came my way and I’m going, ‘You know what, I may be out of my depth. I may go into the dressing room with 30-40 lads and I may be looked at differently. But by God, am I going to put my shoulders back and pretend I belong here!’

“And that’s what I’ve done. The respect that’s there in general, it’s incredible. No egos in the dressing room, just lads that are really willing to work hard for the jersey.”

Davy Fitzgerald Davy Fitzgerald. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

She explained how she first met Fitzgerald when playing a camogie championship match against Clare in Ennis 13 years ago, and they’ve stayed in touch since.

The conversation evolved, and he offered her the position — one which she ‘took with both hands’. She’s mainly working as goalkeeping coach at the minute, but has been involved in other coaching and performance analysis capacities.

“I’ve known Davy a long, long time,” she explained.

“He’s been a mentor for me throughout the years. Sport isn’t just about winning and winning, you have your ups and downs as well. He’s been a voice of reason on some occasions.

“Davy’s been involved with camogie teams as a manager and he’s officiated matches. I think he’s going to get back into in a wee while as well, just for the enjoyment levels.

“He’s always thinking about fresh and alternative ideas and how he can enhance the environment a little bit. Obviously I’m one of his plays to do that, and so happy to be.

“The amount I’ve learned in the last five or six weeks over what I could learn on my own over 15 years trying to get into management, it’s unparalleled. I’m very thankful for the opportunity. It’s hell for leather at the moment, I’m enjoying it.”

At today’s event, RTÉ broadcaster Joanne Cantwell hosted a panel discussion featuring D’Arcy alongside the author of ‘Eat Sweat Play’, Anna Kessel MBE, trailblazing Irish refere, Joy Neville and former Ireland captain and media pundit, Fiona Coghlan.

Liberty Insurance published new research which shows that 75% of Irish adults have attended or watched a major men’s sporting event in the past 12 months, but just 36% have attended or watched a women’s sports event during this time.

The findings also suggested that Irish adults are twice as likely to attend or watch a women’s sports event as their peers in the UK.

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