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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
INPHO/Morgan Treacy Davy Fitzgerald had a lot to say about a topic he said he didn't want to talk about.
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‘Some people will say to me some of the referees have an agenda against me’ – Davy Fitz
The Clare manager didn’t want to talk about Brian Gavin directly though.

A NIGHT’S SLEEP did little to quell the anger Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald felt after Sunday’s drawn All-Ireland hurling final. In fact, it probably just made things worse.

“No, I’m still the same, probably even more so.

“We’ve got to draw a line under it and just forget about certain things and just get on with the next day now. That’s the most important thing.”

As angry as Fitzgerald was though, he still refused to be drawn on his true feelings when it came to the performance of referee Brian Gavin.

“No, no, no, no, no, no.

“I don’t know what [the GAA] will do and what the story is.

“They have got to have a good look at that and sort it out.  We might be only small fry but we deserve a good crack at anything and I’ll just leave it in their hands completely.  That’s the way it is.”

Without going into specifics, the 42-year old then suggested there may be a personal vendetta against him from certain inter-county officials:

“Some people will say to me some of the referees have an agenda against me. I don’t know.

“You’ll have to look at a few of the games to decide that yourself but it wasn’t the first game this year.

“I’m not, and this is a quote, I’m not getting into it about them. I’m going to let Croke Park, I trust them, to deal with whatever.”

Despite not wanting to talk about referees, Fitzgerald spent an awful lot of Monday’s press conference doing just that and was keen to point out he wasn’t the only one.

“I think the best thing lads is because I’ll only get myself in trouble no matter what I say, is I am not going to comment.  All I’ll say is the amount of texts and calls I’ve got from people outside of Clare, unreal. I’d just prefer not to go into it.

“Ye know yourselves, ye were looking at the game, you have your own opinions.  I’ll leave that to yourselves.  That’s the way it is.”

The other issue on the Clare manager’s mind was the faith of the young players on his panel who are also due to contest the All-Ireland U21 final this Saturday.

“I think [asking them to play is] tough.  If you look at it, we played a game yesterday, we had a Munster U21 semi-final, Munster U21 final, All-Ireland semi final, and that’s between all our [senior] games.

“The lads keep having to get up on a high. We have 15 of them on our panel and there will be five or six of them involved [in the replay] I can tell you.

“So, it’s tough, it’s very tough on them young lads.  Can they rise themselves?

“They can.”

Sadly for Clare fans, Fitzgerald thinks this will give the advantage to the Rebels on September 28.

“You know, Cork will feel probably themselves that they will be way better the next day and that they are going to run us off the park up front and they are going to score four or five goals, and maybe they
might.

“It’s something we have to look at and try and make sure it doesn’t happen.”

“Is the initiative with Cork? Being realistic it probably is but that’s up to us to try and make sure I can do my job in the week and a half before the game.”

Asked one last time if he would like to see more sensible refereeing in the reply, Fitzgerald still wouldn’t give anything away.

“We in Clare are not going to say one word about the referee. We’ll just leave it.”

‘Cork are going to be laughing’: Davy Fitz gives Rebels upper hand for All-Ireland replay

‘Oh Holy Moses’ – Marty Morrissey’s brilliant commentary at the end yesterday

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