Davy Fitzgerald: 'We are off to a good start'
By Damian Lawlor
New Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald enjoyed the perfect start to his new job as his side hammered UCD in the first round of the Bord Na Mona Walsh Cup in Gorey earlier this afternoon.
Wexford sailed to a 35-point win over a seriously understrength UCD team in their Group 3 game in the Walsh Cup.
With approximately 3,000 people at Naomh Eana's home, Páirc Uí Siocháin, to greet Fitzgerald the home side run out 5-31 to 1-8 victors.
Goals from Barry Carton and Paul Morris put Wexford in front from the start and in further efforts from Cathal Dunbar, Harry Kehoe and Richie Kehoe sealed the issue. Much to the delight of the big Wexford crowd, their team racked up another 1-16 to run out easy winners.
But Fitzgerald, who previously managed Waterford and Clare, says he won’t be getting carried away and is adamant that bigger challenges lie ahead in 2017.
"Delighted with the win, delighted with the display and how hard the lads worked," Fitzgerald said.
"But UCD were missing a load of players and no-one here will be getting carried away.
"The bottom line is that we are off to a good start and we have a lot to build on. This is part of the reason why I came to Wexford - their enthusiasm.
"I had planned on taking a year out, in no way did I think I would be back so soon in inter-county management after leaving Clare but Wexford's enthusiasm blew me away.
"And you could see it out there; the lads chased and harried and I'm delighted with that.
"But there will be no getting carried away. Certainly not from me. I'm aware of the work that needs to be done here. Getting out of Division 1B is the target but that might not happen this year. There are savage sides to face.
"Galway and Limerick. We're playing Carlow next week and they gave Dublin a right run out last week. We'd take a one point win there, to be honest. So, there's lots to do and while I am happy with the game, no, I won't be getting carried away.
"I'm just delighted to be standing on a sideline. When I was in hospital in June and not feeling so well I would have given anything to be out on the line. You take your health for granted, no doubt about that. People should be a lot more aware of their health and be grateful for it. I know I am."
Fitzgerald's side deployed a seven man defence with Shaun Murphy tucking in behind his Oulart-the-Ballagh clubmate David Redmond and acting as sweeper.
But the Wexford boss says this will not necessarily affect how they line out in the future. "In some games I will go seven at the back, in others I will use six," he says. "It depends on who we play.
"I still have to decide what is best for our team with the lads we have. And we have guys like Jack Guiney to come back from injury too. So we used seven today, but I won't be cementing that system for a while yet. I have a lot to look at yet. I'm still getting to know the lads."