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Davy Fitzgerald: It’s wrong to separate GAA from rugby and soccer

davy fitzgerald

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“You take a four or five-acre field and a bunch of U14s. It’s not a classroom. You can’t compare that to an outdoor environment.”

Davy Fitzgerald wants the GAA to open their pitches so that underage teams can return to non-contact training.

Fitzgerald has become frustrated following the latest announcement that GAA games will not return until after Easter at the earliest. He says people should be offered hope by opening up GAA pitches.

davy fitzgerald

Davy Fitzgerald.

The Wexford manager finds it hard to understand why a classroom is treated the same as an outdoor GAA setting and feels giving people the freedom to do a bit of exercise together will offer much-needed hope.

“I’m finding it hard to understand what has happened on a couple of points,” Fitzgerald told the Irish Examiner.

“You take a four or five-acre field and a bunch of U14s. It’s not a classroom. You can’t compare that to an outdoor environment. You don’t have to have contact training, just allow them to do something.

“And I’m just disappointed that we can’t make life a little easier for people and life easier too for the Government by giving people some hope.

gaa return

2021 GAA return announcement.

Fitzgerald’s comments come in the wake of the GAA announcing that there will be no return to collective training until after Easter.

The government have not granted the GAA elite status meaning inter-county teams cannot continue to train or play matches during Level 5 restrictions.

However, the 2013 All-Ireland winning manager feels that if rugby and soccer can re-commence, then the GAA should also be allowed to return.

“You can’t just segregate GAA from rugby and soccer,” Fitzgerald explained. 

“It might not be professional but I think we’ve shown we can run the three safely.

“If (case) numbers went way back up, I’d say pull it but the way it is now you’re not giving anyone any hope and I think it can be done in a safe environment as has been done before.”

davy fitzgerald

Inter-county resumption

The former Clare goalkeeper feels that the GAA should press on with the National Leagues as – with a lot fewer players involved at inter-county than club – it would bring joy to many households across the country with minimal risk.

Many inter-county managers have spoken publicly following the announcement and Fitzgerald agrees that the inter-county resumption should be brought forward.

“I have met a lot of older people who enjoyed sitting in and having the games to watch in the evenings over the winter,” Fitzgerald continued.

“That made a difference. I am totally aware that there are a lot more people involved with the clubs and as the year goes on we’ll get back to the club but it’s safer now to go with inter-county.

“If you look at entertainment, there’s rugby and soccer but I think the GAA gives a lot of that too.”

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