Whether intentional or not, Davy Fitzgerald’s post-match outburst at the Munster Council came across as a smokescreen.
Former Offaly player Daithí Regan, who lacerated Davy the day after the All-Ireland humiliation (I took exception to his timing more than anything) was sounding the same drum alongside Paul Flynn on Newstalk‘s ‘Off The Ball’ on Monday evening.
While Fitzgerald’s old foe Tony Considine called it the poorest Munster championship game he can remember, Regan described the Déise boss’s intemperate rant as “the worst post-match interview I’ve ever heard from a manager.”
Whatever about that (Ger Loughnane’s done a few beauties) it certainly wasn’t Fitzgerald’s finest five minutes in front of a microphone, or becoming of someone who, after all, is representing this county. Goodwill is hard-enough earned without throwing it away.
Branding the tone of Fitzgerald’s tirade “absolutely disgraceful”, Regan felt his attempt to hide another “inept performance” betrayed “a man under pressure”.
Another sometime ‘Daily Star’ columnist Loughnane used his many self-styled battles with officialdom as a device for deflecting attention from his players when the heat came on. But he went too far and it ultimately backfired badly on Clare; indeed, it wasn’t until Anthony Daly became manager (and some would suggest he might have been a better fit for Waterford) that the Banner regained its place in the public’s affections.
Doubtless he felt genuinely aggrieved, but Davy should have stuck to the hurling, not his son’s treatment in not being allowed onto the pitch/sideline.
Fair enough, one’s family is important, but his overriding duty on Sunday was to the team and the thousands of Waterford fans who travelled. He could have made his feelings plain in private to whoever raised his ire, having also been fuming over the ruckus at the recess. There’s a time and a place for everything and everyone.
‘Davy Fitz’ isn’t the one-dimensional character some would portray him to be. He has hurling at heart and does a lot of good work with charities and kids. But he needs to be careful he doesn’t undo it by showing a bit more grace under fire – and by being a lot less paranoid where the media are concerned.