Clare GAA supports Davy Fitzgerald’s right as manager to comment on matters involving the senior hurling team, county board chairman Joe Cooney told The Clare Champion, when asked if the board agrees with the manager’s comment in a radio interview on Tuesday that “the local media, especially with us, is horrendous”.
Fitzgerald’s comment was in answer to a question as to who puts the most pressure on the team, to which he replied, “Local media, especially with us, is horrendous. It’s something I wouldn’t be happy about. We are not a county that has won a rake of All-Irelands and to think because you have won two or three U-21s, naturally, that gives you a God-given right that we should be winning All-Irelands every year. Yes, we have a decent team but you know what, Limerick, Galway and other teams have won minor and U-21.
“Take the last four years and a bit, I think we have won six things with this team. We have two promotions, won out of Division 1 B, we have two Munster leagues, we have a National Hurling League and an All-Ireland won. In the previous 13 years, Clare won one Munster league. It’s hard enough to beat the Galways, the Kilkennys, the Tipps, the Waterfords and the Limericks without having to get pressure from your own crowd all the time. We have a few local journalists who probably don’t know that much about hurling and wouldn’t be from hurling backgrounds and then you have a few of my ex-team mates who wouldn’t have managed at a high level. Managing and playing is a completely different thing and I don’t know do they understand it. It just puts a lot of pressure on us but, listen, we will deal with it,” Fitzgerald said on Tuesday.
He also delivered strong criticism of Ger Loughnane for his comments about Galway after their Leinster final defeat.
Speaking to The Clare Champion on Wednesday evening, Clare GAA Board chairman, Joe Cooney said, “We recognise the manager’s right to comment on matters involving the Clare senior team. We have had a good year to date for Clare GAA and we hope that this will continue over the coming weeks”.
When asked for a statement, the senior hurling team’s media spokesman, Mark Dunphy said there would be no comment.
By sports editor Seamus Hayes