“What happened with John Meyler – the way he was let go – was an absolute scandal, an absolute scandal.”
Former Wexford goalkeeper Damien Fitzhenry has branded John Meyler’s departure as Wexford manager in 2008 an “absolute scandal”.
Fitzhenry played under Meyler throughout his tender in charge but was not made aware by the county board that he was being let go as manager.
The former Cork manager served two years in charge of the ‘Yellow Bellies’ in 2007 and 2008.
2007 saw Wexford reach the All-Ireland semi-final after a sensational quarter-final victory over Tipperary at Croke Park.
They could only get as far as the quarter-finals the following year, losing out by a point to Waterford who ended up reaching that year’s final.
However, the 46-year-old believes Meyler did more than enough in both years to justify a third season in charge of the senior team.
“What happened with John Meyler – the way he was let go – was an absolute scandal, an absolute scandal,” Fitzhenry told ‘The Hurling Podcast’.
“I know what happened, I was actually away. I was away on a week’s holidays and I came back and I went to work on the Monday and was driving around and got a phone call from John Meyler.
“He said to me: ‘I’ve been let go’. I said: ‘Yeah, good man, what are you on about?’ He said: ‘I’m telling ya, I’ve just had a meeting in Dungarvan and I’ve been let go’.
“I said: ‘Will ya stop, what are you on about?’ He said: ‘No, I’m telling you, I’m on my way back to Cork here now’.”
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The 1996 All-Ireland winner revealed that some of his teammates had complained about Meyler’s training methods during that final season in charge.
“That’s what happened, some of the boys went to the county board and said they weren’t happy with the way John was training,” Fitzhenry continued.
“This and that and the other and they wanted him gone and that’s the way it happened.”
Fitzhenry was one of Wexford’s longest serving players at the time so he felt somewhat disrespected that nobody from the county board had contacted him about the decision.
“Ah, probably to a small extent,” Fitzhenry replied when asked if he felt it was disrespectful not to be asked for his views.
“Nothing that I’d get overly concerned about but I would say – after being there for 14 or 15 years – that maybe they’d say, ‘We’ll have a chat to him and see what he thinks.’
“That obviously wasn’t done.”
For the full Damien Fitzhenry interview on ‘The Hurling Podcast’, click here.
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