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Clare players united on Davy Fitzgerald decision, says co-captain Cian Dillon

The Crusheen man paid tribute to the departing boss.

Cian Dillon and Davy Fitgerald during the league campaign this year.
Cian Dillon and Davy Fitgerald during the league campaign this year.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CLARE HURLING CO-CAPTAIN Cian Dillon says the panel were united in their desire for a change of regime but paid tribute to departing manager Davy Fitzgerald.

The All-Ireland winning boss called time on his tenure in charge of the Banner this week.

And Dillon, speaking to Clare FM, reiterated that Fitzgerald had asked him and fellow skipper Tony Kelly to canvas opinion amongst their teammates.

“Davy had been in constant contact with myself and Tony as joint captains over the past few weeks,” he said.

“We kept an open dialogue throughout the last couple of weeks. Now I know he’s away on holiday since but even while he was away we were talking to him the whole time.

“I suppose, when he resurfaced a few weeks ago, he was trying to get an opinion off players and did they feel the need for change. He spoke to us after the Galway game that he was deciding his future, he was unsure about whether he’d commit for 2017. He reiterated that to us a couple of weeks ago.

“We set about getting the opinion of the players and that came to light last Monday. Lads had a lot of club action in between. We met and spoke about our own performances, what we can incorporate into our training for next year.

“And then we heard from him in the statement then that he had decided to step down. So yeah big change, I suppose.”

Fitzgerald – a two-time Celtic Cross winner as a goalkeeper, of course — led the Banner to a thrilling All-Ireland title in 2013. But Dillon says the players now felt it was time for a change.

Overall, players felt after five years a change was required for next year but it was entirely up to him,” he said.

“There’s a great squad of players there,” he continued. “You can see from our performances in the last couple of years players will fight for each other on the day. It’s the same in training, same in a meeting, lads are going to be united always. That’s what we have in Clare; a great bunch. That unity was instilled by the manager as well. It’s fitting that that continues into next year.”

Asked whether the players would like to play a role in the search for Fitzgerald’s successor, the Crusheen man indicated that all avenues would be open but the county board would handle the process.

Source: Clare FM - Podcasts/SoundCloud

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