“Why should Leinster be targeted the whole time and Munster not?”
Davy Fitzgerald believes that both Munster and Leinster should have six teams and there is an unfair advantage of Leinster teams having the threat of relegation over them.
However, Munster still has five teams and even if Kerry win the Joe McDonagh in the future, they will face a playoff with the bottom Munster team to gain access to the province for the following season.
Munster and Leinster.
Speaking at at the launch of Londis’ sponsorship of Ireland’s Fittest Family, the Wexford manager was forthright in his views.
Fitzgerald said: “I’m a Munster man and I manage a Leinster team, which I’m very proud of, and I think it should be both equal. I actually don’t see a problem in having six and six [in Munster and Leinster}. There should be up and down.
The All-Ireland winning manager with Clare in 2013 believes that two teams should be promoted to the Liam MacCarthy each year. This would help smaller counties close the gap to the bigger teams by exposing them to a higher level more regularly.
He continued: “I’d actually like to see two go up and two go down the whole time. I want to expose more teams to Liam MacCarthy, that would be my vision. I think there are certain teams made for it.
“The Joe McDonagh is very competitive. Why should Leinster be targeted the whole time and Munster not?
“I’d love to see it being a two-pronged think where you have two teams, one going into Leinster and one going into Munster every year. That’s just me thinking out loud.”
Davy Fitzgerald also had his say on the Dublin funding issue. The former Waterford manager watched the All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Mayo and didn’t think the Westerners were that far off the six-in-a-row champions.
“As regards to football, I don’t know what to say to you. I can’t advocate to you that I know what’s going on in football because I don’t.
“I didn’t think Mayo were that far off the pace the other day but that’s my own view. Not knowing anything about football, I just thought their decision making on a few things wasn’t as good as it could have been. I didn’t think they were that far off it.”
Fitzgerald doesn’t see Dublin’s dominance in football being replicated in hurling. The former Clare goalkeeper feels that there are plenty of counties not far off Limerick’s level.
He said: “From a hurling point of view, we’ve had Kilkenny and Tipperary for a long time. Clare broke it in 2013. Galway and Limerick came. In hurling at the moment, I don’t think we’re at that point.
“Some people are starting to say that Limerick could win five or six-in-a-row. I think Limerick are an unbelievable team but I don’t think that they’ll dominate the same way Dublin have. They will be there or thereabouts.
“There are a few more teams around them that are only a fraction off at the moment. There isn’t a big gulf. When you look at Galway in the semi-final against Limerick, they made a lot of errors themselves on the day. If they didn’t make them there would have been nothing in the game. I think the hurling is tighter.
Inter-county teams budget.
Regarding financing and budgeting, Fitzgerald believes that every county should have to work off the same inter-county budget.
“I don’t know do I accept the money issue, that [Dublin] have way more. The one thing I would say is that I do believe that every team should operate off the same budget. That’s the way I think it should be.
“Whether it’s €500,000, €600,000, or €400,000 of a budget, that should be your budget for the year. I know in Wexford we sit down and get a budget. It’s nothing crazy but you’ve got to work so hard to stay within that budget. It’s important.
“I think every team should have that. It should be a level playing field across the board on that. Whatever the budget is, that should be the cap that’s there for everybody. Then nobody can be giving out about everyone getting an advantage or not.”
I asked him how he sets up Wexford tactically:
"I have my sheets out in front of me. Different formations, different things."https://t.co/B0XGf8vbTc
— Daniel Hussey (@DanielHussey2) December 29, 2020
Davy Fitzgerald is also already looking at Limerick’s strengths ahead of the 2021 season. You can read his comments here.
Ireland’s Fittest Family Londis.
Londis has announced it will sponsor Ireland’s Fittest Family show for a second year running. RTE’s hit family programme, now in its eighth season, returns to our screens on Sunday, January 3rd in a new 6.30pm slot.