'What the hell, I'll pick up the phone and ring him' - Davy Fitz on Donal Óg appointment

Davy Fitzgerald has revealed the background to Donal Óg Cusack’s appointment in Clare.

Davy Fitzgerald has recruited Donal Óg Cusack to his backroom team.
Davy Fitzgerald has recruited Donal Óg Cusack to his backroom team.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

DAVY FITZGERALD HAS been outlining the background to Donal Óg Cusack’s shock appointment as Clare’s new senior hurling team coach.

Cusack will link up with manager Fitzgerald next year in an exciting double act that looks set to capture the imagination of hurling fans around the country.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Ray Darcy show on Saturday evening, Fitzgerald revealed that Cusack was “top of the list” when he drew up a list of names to join his backroom team.

Clare stormed to All-Ireland glory in 2013 but have endured a difficult two seasons since then, bowing out of the Munster and All-Ireland championships at early junctures.

“As soon as you’re beaten, the next week or two or three weeks you’re thinking, what can we do different?” Fitzgerald said.


“We won an All-Ireland two years ago and the last year or two has been really tough and you’re saying, what can I do to change it up and it’s my job as a manager to put the best backroom staff I can there and maybe change things up a small bit.

“You’d draw up a list in your head and I’ll be honest, he was nearly top of the list.

“I’ve watched him analysing stuff on The Sunday Game and he’s really good.

“I said, what the hell, I’ll pick up the phone and I’ll ring him. It quite surprised me, delighted to meet, we met up and had an incredible chat. It took off from there.”

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Donal Og Cusack Donal Óg Cusack is Clare's new senior hurling team coach. Source: INPHO/James Crombie

Presenter Darcy wondered how the new partnership will work, given that Fitzgerald and Cusack are both renowned as fiercely independent individuals.

“It’s going to be war!” Fitzgerald joked.

“A lot of perception about me in the dressing room is that you’d be going off the head all the time or whatever.

“I think if you asked the lads they’d have a quite different story to that. I only want the best involved, there’s more than Donal Óg involved, we have Aonghus O’Brien and Jimmy Payne joining our set-up.

“Trust me, the set up we have is incredible as well, we have a lot of really good lads there. I think Donal will add to it, he thinks things out, and I think when he talks…the biggest thing is he’s been there, done it, serious vision in what he wants to do and I think when he talks in that dressing room, them lads will listen. That’s a big part of it.”

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