Davy Fitzgerald will apparently release another book on his life in the next two years, a follow up to the successful Passion and Pride which chronicled his playing career.
The latest tome, according to Wexford’s new hurling manager, will detail the last few years in Clare which he describes as “tough”.
“It wasn’t an easy ride since we won the All-Ireland, that’s all I’ll say to you,” said Fitzgerald, who pulled the shutters down on any further line of questioning. “No, I won’t (elaborate). You’ll see.”
Leaving aside the difficulties of trying, and failing, to back up the MacCarthy Cup success of 2013, and being nudged out as manager more recently, there has been enough tough times off the field to fill a few chapters.
Fitzgerald underwent a procedure on his heart in July while in charge of Clare after a blockage was found, the second time in seven years that surgery has been required.
“Probably the first time I got this in 2009, I didn’t pay too much attention to it,” he Fitzgerald. “I kept f**king driving on, saying, ‘That was that, it was just unlucky. It’s hereditary and it’s in my family’. But in the last few months, it has hit me a bit more, that this happened for the second time and when you have a blockage like that...and so what did I f**king do but go back for the f**king Galway game a week after having the blockage, like it probably wasn’t the best thing I did. In saying that, if I was at home watching the match I’d actually be more ... I’m actually way calmer when I’m there at the game and I’m in it, I’m grand, my mind is in a place and I’m fine.
“But if I’m at home I would be absolutely hopping off the wall there. So it was tough that time. But I didn’t think about it too much that week because there was so much going on. But in the weeks afterwards I did and it was one of the reasons going to Wexford that I was so 50/50 about doing it.”
Fitzgerald, initially, told Wexford chairman Diarmuid Devereaux that he wasn’t interested in the job. He’d just left Clare after a section of the panel made it known that three years after guiding them to the All-Ireland, he was surplus to requirements.
But it was more upon health grounds that Fitzgerald rejected the invitation. Devereaux was persistent, though, and Fitzgerald picked up on that enthusiasm.
Soon his own hurling obsessions kicked in and just 16 days after leaving Clare, he put pen to paper in Wexford.
“It’s easy to say you’ll do a job when you haven’t seen the journey,” smiled Fitzgerald. “Having got stuck into the journey, it’s a nice drive, I’ll tell you. You could be looking at two and three-quarter hours to three hours (one way). What I’m doing at the moment is leaving at 2pm, arriving down around 5pm for training at 7pm.
“Then I leave again around 10pm or 10.30pm so you’re back home around 1am. It’s a long day. It’s a tough journey.”
Fitzgerald could probably stop in every medical practice from Clare to Wexford and not find a doctor who’d advise him to take on such a role.
“It took me a while to make up my mind and a lot of the reason would have been I’m not 100% happy with that (health),” said the 45-year-old.
“The most important thing in life is life and the health you have. At times we don’t value that enough. The last few months, even in the darker months, the last month or two, it’s coming into my head, ‘Okay, what exactly happened you? You got a blockage. You don’t want to get one of them again because that could be fatal’. And it was me that copped it myself that time.
“I have, yeah (thought about it). But what is the story then? Do I just go home and sit down and put the feet up and just do nothing?
“I like to live and do stuff. But I have thought about it. Obviously I’m not happy with my weight. I have too much weight up, I’m trying to get a bit of weight off to help to ease the bit of pressure and, in general, change my diet.
“It isn’t easy because when you’re training a team or doing stuff, you’re constantly looking at maybe 35 or 36 players, you have maybe another 20 involved with you. So you have 50 guys that you are totally keeping an eye on. You’re giving your energy to them the whole time.”
Already, life is up at around 100mph hour in Wexford.
They’ve played Dublin in a challenge game — which they lost — and there are several more lined up over the coming weeks. If it all smacks of a classic rebound relationship, Fitzgerald is happy to nip that one in the bud straight away. He insists he’s not at all bitter and feels no burden to make any point, to anyone post Clare.
“I’ve actually thought about that a bit — I don’t want to f**king prove myself again, to tell you the truth,” he said.
“I do it because I enjoy it and because I hope I can make a difference. I was always wary when we won in 2013 what was coming. That’s being honest. When you’re up there, you know there is only one way things can go. Unless you’re Brian Cody, though every now and again he gets a tickler too, which is unreal, which I find absolutely the most amusing thing ever, that people can have a go at him. That doesn’t make sense.”
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