‘That made my job more difficult’: Paul Galvin on Davy Fitzgerald’s ‘interference’ in Wexford football

The former Kerry All-Star found it difficult working parallel to Fitzgerald in the Wexford hotseat
‘That made my job more difficult’: Paul Galvin on Davy Fitzgerald’s ‘interference’ in Wexford football

Paul Galvin taking notes in his role as Wexford boss. Picture: Sportsfile

Paul Galvin felt Davy Fitzgerald was trying to put Wexford football ‘in the ha’penny place’ during the Kerryman's spell as football manager in the county.

Speaking with Paul Rouse on the Irish Examiner Allianz League Football Podcast, Galvin expressed his frustration with what he saw as interference in his work by hurling boss Fitzgerald.

“I had no difficulty dealing with the hurling manager until such time as he started to interfere a little bit with my operation.

“I was building a new team there. I made a couple of decisions to shake the thing up a little bit. And we were starting fresh with a young group. I had to keep my head down because there was a lot of stuff flying around and we needed to get results.

“We started to get results and that was enough of an answer for me at the time.

“I did feel there was a bit of interference that made my job more difficult and made the situation down there difficult.

“I had a very good relationship with the chairman but some of the things that went on… I think Davy wanted the training ground to himself. He wanted Ferns to himself down there. He certainly let it be known pretty early that we weren’t welcome in Ferns, the football side of things. Because some of the things he did made it clear to me that we weren’t welcome in Ferns basically. That was my take on the situation.” 

Galvin questioned the motivation behind Fitzgerald's decision to call players into the hurling setup who had been released from the football panel.

“I didn’t mind a bit of chicanery. I released a few players. He brought them into the hurling squad —same training ground, dressing rooms, pitches, corridors, car park, same training nights.

“And I felt that was a bit of a statement. And I took it on the chin because he’s around a long time and Davy’s a wily old fox, he’s gained a little bit of soft power in the media that he uses quite cleverly.

“I took it on the chin because we needed results and I had to keep my head down.

“The thing that really annoyed me about that was that he made a big man of himself in the media on the back of it. And he started talking about all the respect he had for me in the media and making a virtuous man of himself on the back of it. The reality behind the scenes, that wasn’t the case at all.

“I felt it was trying to maybe put me in the ha’penny place a little bit and put football in the ha’penny place a little bit.” 

Galvin left the Wexford role due to personal and work-related reasons and the uncertainty around the Covid-19 shutdown. But he believes there is potential for swift progress by the Division 4 county, now led by Shane Roche.

“There were a lot of good Wexford football people down there. I think there’s a lot of potential down there. I saw it first hand. I believe there’s the makings of a very good young team down in Wexford. I’m absolutely certain of that.

“But that was a bit of an eye-opener for me in terms of the learning experience and the growth out of it. You move onto your next place and you probably have had a good grounding there overall in terms of experience.”

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