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'The criticism from your own hurts. I probably took it too personally'

Davy Fitzgerald is hoping he can sort things out with Brian Lohan, his former team mate.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DAVY FITZGERALD HAS reached out to Brian Lohan, his former team-mate on the Clare teams who won the 1995 and 1997 All-Irelands, in a bid to restart their friendship.

The Wexford manager and his Clare counterpart have drifted apart in the last five years, Fitzgerald criticising Lohan in his book, Lohan having this to say about Fitzgerald last year. “I don’t know if it’s genuine passion,” said Lohan. “We’re all passionate about the game, but we don’t . . . we show it in different ways. He has the way he does things and people have to kind of fit into that. But I think some of the antics, they’re not great.”

Tonight on The Sunday Game, Fitzgerald said he hoped their friendship could be resurrected.

“When you are a manager and you get criticism from your own, it does hurt,” Fitzgerald said. “I probably took it too personally. Maybe you have to live with that. I hate that it came from fellas you played with.

“Brian and I had a unique friendship. Make no mistake, he was one of the best full-backs I have ever seen.

“As regards going forward with Clare, I honestly want to see Brian do well. That is 100 per cent.

“I’m disappointed it (their differences) has come to where it is now. I got hurt from a bit of criticism. Brian got hurt from what I said in my book. Maybe we should be big enough to forget about it and move on.

“Having dealt with him over the years, I know he is a good guy. I wish him and Clare the best.”

Fitzgerald also spoke about the criticism he has received from Ger Loughnane, his former Clare manager. ”It would have bothered me a lot at the start (of my tenure as Clare manager). I wondered: ‘why would a Clare man have a cut at another Clare man?’ It didn’t make sense but Ger is Ger and he is going to make headlines.”

This year the headlines have not been about hurling but about a virus and whether any inter-county games would take place at all in 2020.

Now it seems like they will. Inter-county training is due to return in September with competition set to resume in October.

Fitzgerald said: “I have one big word in life which is hope and in fairness the Government have done a really good job (dealing with the effects of Covid-19).

“To see restrictions lifted earlier than we had initially anticipated is great. It makes the soul feel good.”

Fitzgerald said he is prepared to return to the training field as soon as he can.

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“I had stents put in a while ago and it would cross your mind that you have an underlying condition,” he said.

“Certainly if the time is right, I am willing to go out into the field. I will adhere to the guidelines but do things sensibly. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I have decided that I would like to be out there again on the field.”

He insisted he won’t be pressurising players to return to training if they feel uncomfortable about it.

davy-fitzgerald Fitzgerald is looking forward to working with Wexford's players again. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Personally, there is no way you should put any pressure on any player, that is my belief.

“If they feel it is okay to come back, then great. 

“Everybody has to make a decision for their family, they need to do what they think is best.”

Fitzgerald also said he does not mind the club championship returning before inter county games are played.

“I am happy with that (scenario). Never would I put county before club or club before county. Whichever comes back first, I am delighted to work with both.

“To me, this year is not about winning All-Irelands. I would love to win one with Wexford, win a club with Sixmilebridge. It is about playing games again. If we are doing that, we are winning.

“For a few months there, it was not looking like there would be any GAA this year. It is great to think we might get football and hurling again.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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