Speaking at the weekend’s presentation of All-Ireland medals to the Clare U21 team, Fitzgerald said: “We spent significant money. It’s something unique, and it’s something I don’t think we’ll do again [winning both All-Irelands]. We might, we’d like to think we can, but I can’t see it.”
The U21 and senior hurlers held separate medal presentations this month despite 14 players being involved in both panels. The U21s had their presentation on Saturday night, three weeks after the senior presentation. However, Fitzgerald insisted there is no animosity between the two management teams.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on is the close relationship and bond between everyone. That brought us through this year.
“We spent nearly a million on the county teams this year in hurling. If I felt there was tension within the camps, I’d have sorted it immediately.”
There were five U21 starters in the Clare senior team that lined out in the All-Ireland final, with eight in the match-day panel. The senior presentation night was held on December 6.
“Sometimes there was only a week between their games and Paul Kinnerick was involved as the link between both panels,” said Fitzgerald.
“What stood to us this year was the camaraderie and closeness between players and the management. Everyone working and fighting for one another.”
Clare have now won three of the last five U21 All-Irelands but Fitzgerald is not getting carried away.
“We’ll be hoping in 2014 to do reasonably well. We’ve been working hard for many years, and there’s a very thin line between winning and losing, maybe there were games we could’ve won in the past.
“As a county we’ve waited a long time for this.”
Clare senior manager Davy Fitzgerald, Pat’s son, is still only 42. Brian Cody was 46 when he won his first All-Ireland of his 16-year reign with Kilkenny. Pat added: “Davy brought his own style to it, he demands high standards. But at the end of the day you can do what you want on the sideline, but the players on the field win it.
“Brian Cody is an exceptional man and what Kilkenny have contributed to the association I don’t think anyone will ever replicate. But you can only be judged on your last game and he has another three years now.
“If Davy continues to have the support of the players and of the county, we’ll see. He’s had success last year; and at the end of the day it’s all about success.”