Chin lauds Davy Fitzgerald's 'soft side'
By John Harrington
Wexford hurler Lee Chin says Davy Fitzgerald’s ‘soft side’ is one of the reasons why he’s such a good manager.
The general public tends to see the more fire and brimstone aspect of his character on the sideline, but, according to Chin, away from the match-day he’s a very different animal.
“There’s a lot of sides to Davy, and a lot of sides that people might not know him for or see him for,” said Chin. “I’d look at Davy and would call him a great friend of mine.
“A lot of lads on the panel would too. He’s very good at creating that friendship relationship too, as well as a manager. I know a lot of managers like to keep friendships aside, but look it, Davy is just one of those guys.
“He’s very sincere and he’s very honest. That’s what we love about him as well. As a manager, I can’t fault him for anything.
“He’s the best guy I’ve ever worked under, and as a person as well he’s one of the most interesting guys I’ve ever met.
“So, he’s a great mixture of different characters, and do you know, a lot of people mightn’t see the other soft side of Davy, but he has that in abundance.”
Fitzgerald is also a born winner, and Chin believes it’s this driven attitude to be the best that he’s learned most from since the Clare-man took charge of the Wexford team.
“Just his ruthlessness, his wining mentality,” said Chin. “That’s the one thing, his attitude towards winning and succeeding in life.”
Chin believes that Wexford have made huge strides forward under Fitzgerald thanks to his ability to recognise a player’s weaknesses and how best to improve him in those areas.
“This is where I think Davy has made a lot of improvements because he came in at first with a lot of honesty to a lot of individual players, and then as a panel as a whole, he identifies where we can improve on, and where an individual can improve on,” said Chin.
“He’s so honest about it. But his approach is very good about it also. He’s really interested in working on it, and helping them work on it.
“And then myself, it’s the simple little things – it might just be your attitude sometimes. It might just be your work-rate.
“It mightn’t be always something to do with hurling. He’s very good at finding that bit inside you that’s going to make you tick that little bit better.”
Fitzgerald’s Wexford will be hot favourites to give their All-Ireland challenge renewed momentum when they play Westmeath in the preliminary quarter-final on Saturday, but Chin insists they won’t be taking the challenge lightly.
“Obviously we know they are going to be a good force, we played them in 2015, where they gave us a serious game up in Mullingar, and the game is going to be in Mullingar this week,” he said.
“I know they were beaten by Carlow last weekend, but I still think they’ve something to offer here. They’re going to be well up for this game against Wexford in Mullingar.
"They’re going to get a packed stadium full of their own fans. It’s probably a game they’re looking towards – they’ve nothing really to lose, the fact that they were beaten last weekend.
“They’re going to come into this game with an attitude, and they’re going to really look to progress into an All-Ireland series.
“We know it’s going to be a tough test, and one we’re treating with the utmost respect. It’s something we’re really looking forward to getting back into Championship action as well.”