Davy Fitzgerald has hinted he may take a few years away from inter-county management, having stepped down as Wexford manager this morning.
Speaking on South East Radio Morning Mix, Fitzgerald explained his reasons and suggested it may be time for a break.
“What’s next for me, I have not a clue. Have I talked to anyone, have I considered anything else, 100% not.
"It’s the bones of 31 and a half years that I have been involved between playing and managing at senior level. It’s a long time to be going every single year. Would I have changed a thing, no. Love it. Might I have a year or two off, might I have a few years off, I don’t know what’s ahead."
Fitzgerald said he had made his mind to leave the Wexford job two years ago, but was persuaded to stay on by the players and then county chairman David Kent.
"In 2019, I was 100% gone only Derek Kent and the players convinced me to stay for two more.
"It’s hard to explain to people, leave home at 1 o'clock in the day, get back at one at night. It’s a long road. There's a lot of people at home that need a bit more attention at times.
"In fairness, I just feel it’s time.
"The travel, one. I feel it isn’t a bad time to let the boys maybe get a new voice. With a heart and a half, it was a hard decision to make.
"Some of the guys maybe I gave a tough time to at times, I might be heavy-handed at times, Some guys mightn't have got games and maybe they would welcome a change because you know what, I have to do what I have to do to get a result."
Fitzgerald paid tribute to Wexford supporters.
"With all my heart, the people of Wexford, I will never forget how they were with me and anyone related to me. Hurling is great, and sport is great but being treated with respect, especially with things that have gone on in the last few years in Clare, it means more than you will ever know."
There had been some negative comment around Wexford and beyond after the championship defeat by Clare, particularly after much of what turned out to be Fitzgerald's final post-match interviews in the job centered on his ongoing rows with figures in his home county.
Fitzgerald stopped short of expressing regret for that, though explained: "The first two or three questions, if you listen to the interview after the game, I wanted to be very humble and accept we were beaten. And I did and I said all of Wexford would support Clare and all that.
"I put up with probably seven or eight months of the most unbelievable hurt and untruth. And I suppose that comes down to my family being blamed for different things that are total lies.
"I’ve been carrying that around on my shoulders and I’ve seen the hurt it’s caused my family. And whether I won or lost I was going to do it after that game, I wanted to get a message out that had been playing on my mind for months and months.
"I haven’t reacted. I haven’t said anything and I just wanted to get out a message to some people in Clare that what they are doing has to stop. That was the big message.
"That bullying on platforms isn’t good enough, telling lies and getting journalists to write stuff that isn’t true isn’t good enough. It was hurting our family and affecting it, that’s where I was coming from.
"The last numbers of months have been so, so difficult. I wanted to get it off my chest and all I asked for, if you listen to the interview, was stuff to stop. People can work together, people can work out anything.
"That’s been on my mind the whole time.
"If you listen to nearly every interview I did since I was in Wexford, have I said the same thing about the team, have I said the same thing about the fans? Have I always said how good it is? I hope I didn't need to say it after every game.
"I was a bit emotional. I’ve done everything I can for Wexford. I want to say a big thank you from my heart."