Fitzgerald’s attention to detail wowed Dónal Óg

Fitzgerald’s attention to detail wowed Dónal Óg

Dónal Óg Cusack was blown away by Davy Fitzgerald’s attention to detail when the pair met up to discuss Cusack joining Fitzgerald’s Clare management team.

Cusack admitted on the RTÉ GAA podcast he didn’t get on with Davy when they played, saying they clashed when representing Munster on Railway Cup duty.

“It was almost childish between the two of us. Even when we were warming up, there was little communication between the two of us.”

However, when they pair met to discuss working together with the Banner, Cusack was impressed.

“He was going through things, going through the backroom team and I was intrigued with the backroom team, because of the scale of it,” said Cusack. “I was asking him about it and he had it all mapped out in his book and he had an organisational chart where everyone was accounted for. I couldn’t have been more impressed and was delighted to get involved.

Everything I saw after that was a man who was committed, and he’s committed to the game of hurling; he’s committed to advancing it and he’s never shied away from challenges or approaching the game with different structures, or different tactics and I think all of that is healthy for the game.

"The man is great for the GAA, if you ask me. The game needs big characters and Davy is one of those. Everyone speaks about his commitment. He’s passionate, he’s highly intelligent, he’s thoughtful, he’s got great imagination, and I found him great fun.”

As a fellow hurling obsessive, Cusack knows the Wexford manager will have considered deeply what tactics to apply in Sunday’s Leinster final meeting with Kilkenny.

“The point about the covering defender, Davy knows the positives and negatives associated with that. Only this Christmas, I remember meeting with him in Charleville. He had all the different scenarios and systems drawn out. He understand the positives and negatives of each one. He’ll have thought through all of those.

“They did a great job on TJ Reid last time. Obviously, the system they play involves crowding out the middle third, and there is a possibility that TJ mightn’t start in the half-forward line. Putting him in the inside line would change things up, but they’ll have a man marker like Matthew O’Hanlon, you’d imagine that’s how Wexford will approach it.

“The way the game is going, most teams are bringing back covering defenders, anyway, and most teams are getting used to dealing with extra defenders. You can see how well Wexford are bypassing the sweepers on the other side.”

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