Fitzgerald officially unveiled as new Clare supremo

Just five weeks after his departure from Waterford was confirmed, Davy Fitzgerald has been officially announced as the new Clare senior hurling manager.

Fitzgerald has been given a three-year term with his native county. He takes over from Ger 'Sparrow' O'Loughlin, a former team-mate of his on the All-Ireland winning Clare teams of the 1990s.

Addressing delegates at last night's Clare County Board meeting in Ennis, the former goalkeeper said: "It's great to be back home. No one man will make Clare successful, it'll take a lot of us working hard.

"I can't promise a quick fix, but I can tell you I'll work as hard as I possibly can. I mean that. Everything I can do to bring Clare back to where we need to be, I'll do.

"Sparrow did a great job in the last two years. It wasn't easy, he started to rebuild and that rebuilding is far from finished.

"We've had a lot of (underage) success but everyone is saying that success leads to senior success, which concerns me. Did it happen in Limerick and Galway?"

He added: "We have to keep these lads grounded and working hard at senior. I don't think our strength and conditioning is good enough, so we'll be working on that, and on some hurling things."

Highly-regarded physical trainer Louis Mulqueen and Mike Deegan, who managed Cratloe to their first Clare SHC title two years ago, will be Fitzgerald's selectors.

"I'm absolutely delighted to have Mike Deegan on board. He's cool, calm, collected and gets on with players, which is very important.

"Louis Mulqueen has worked with many teams and would be valued very highly by Ger Loughnane, so I think I'm surrounded by good people."

Ironically, the Sixmilebridge clubman's first Championship match in charge of Clare will be against his former Waterford charges in a mouth-watering Munster semi-final next summer.

Meanwhile, Michael McDermott will remain in charge of the Clare senior footballers for a third season. The Cavan man will have another year at the helm before a review takes place.

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