Davy Fitzgerald has been like the Messiah Wexford hurling had been waiting for.
His managerial CV is glowing but, when he first took on the new post, he warned fans not to expect miracles. He under-promised but reflecting on his first year with the Model County, he has certainly over-delivered.
Having come so far after only one year at the helm, there are doubts over the Sixmilebridge man’s future in the south east. The commitment over the last year has been huge from Fitzgerald but for Wexford to push on from here, Davy’s dedication to the cause must be sustained.
1. He has been taken in by the people of Wexford
Promotion to the top tier of the National League was a massive achievement for Wexford. However, it will be just as much of a challenge to remain there next year so they’ll need the guidance of the man who got them there.
After this huge step forward for hurling in the county, a lot more people in Wexford began to buy into the Davy Factor. He has won over the Wexford public and there will certainly be a lot of disappointment among fans if he departs after only one year.
2. Wexford need stability
A manager with any real ambition for an inter-county team needs time to embed ideas and to see their vision become a reality. Getting to 1A was surely only part of Davy’s plan for Wexford and what a pity it would be not to see it through to the end with this young and emerging team.
From the players point of view, they have got to know him and understand how he operates as a manager. It’s not ideal for a developing team who have already come so far to start from scratch with someone new who will have a completely different style to that of Davy Fitz.
3. He is still wanted
With Davy, if he does leave Wexford he will leave a lot unfinished business Slaneyside.
Some managerial careers come to a natural end, when they’ve done all they can do with a team. We’ve seen it with several managers been backed into a corner where they’ve had no option but to leave but what an awful pity to depart when the consensus is to stay.
4. His profile has been beneficial for Wexford
Within the GAA world you can’t get more high profile than Fitzgerald. There are people with no interest in hurling who keep up to date with what he’s up to.
Joe Brolly commented last week that that Davy would crawl over crushed glass to get to a microphone. However, I’m not sure he craves attention but he certainly commands it and this has been no bad thing for Wexford, who have been in the shadow of other teams for far too long.
5. Having an outsider is exactly what Wexford need
Not everyone will agree with sourcing a manager from outside of the county but the idea of bringing in Davy to the Wexford camp was inspired.
Many will argue that there are more than enough capable and experienced personnel inside the county’s borders to take the reins but what Wexford needed was a completely fresh start, someone without any prejudice towards players, clubs etc.
The recruitment process might not be as straight forward as before if the Wexford job is yet again left vacant. How lucky would the Wexford county board be to find someone with experience like Davy, willing to take charge of the Slaneysiders?
Davy has been the foundation for the success that has been built this year, you would worry about it crumbling upon his departure if he does decide to leave.
Sinead Kehoe, Pundit Arena