Fixtures format needs a rethink, reckons Davy Fitzgerald

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald reiterated his belief in teams getting a break after two round-robin games in the new championship format.

Speaking after his side were beaten by All-Ireland champions Galway, Fitzgerald stressed: “There’s no doubt they (Galway) were the better team. That wasn’t Wexford (at the best), though. I know they were very powerful, they’re right up there, but I believe we’re better than that.

“We were flat today and I dread to think how we’ll be next week. We put in a massive first two weeks. If you look at last week, I don’t think Kilkenny were 100% up because it was their third week. When Offaly played us last week I noticed they were flat in their warm-up and we went for the throat straight away, and Galway were similar here.

“We happen to be the unlucky team playing four in-a-row, and it’s the only thing about the system that — I don’t know if it’s a true reflection, because if a team gets a small breather in the middle of it, it freshens them up.”

Fitzgerald added: “I like the system but we’ll have to look at it. I think if you play two, (then) a break. I don’t think you’ll get more than two games in-a-row.

“Take Kilkenny. They’re itching this week. I’m not just pointing this out just now, I said it before this started. I said from day one that we’d struggle in weeks three and four, and that’s why I wanted to get our business done early if we could.”

Galway manager Micheál Donoghue had his own observations on the new championship structure: “I go along with the sentiment that the Leinster championship should mirror the Munster championship, and there should be no relegation for anyone.

“It (the format) is going okay but for some teams to play four weeks in-a-row, it is very hard. From a spectators’ point of view it is great to see game on game, it is very exciting but I think the powers-that-be should reflect on having teams play four weeks in-a-row, and reflect on it with players and management and take their views on it on it, and look at maybe extending it so that there will be an extra week for everyone.”

The Galway boss rejected any suggestion of resting players against Dublin in their next outing.

“No, we treat every game the same. We are just going back to training and recovery and see the position we are in with injuries and take it from there. We knew coming down it was going to be a huge challenge. Wexford are doing really well but we took a lot of confidence out of our last two games and the lads were well up for the challenge. And we are just delighted with the win and we will move on now again.”

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