Larry O hopes Egan will bring new life to Wexford hurling
By John Harrington
Wexford hurling legend, Larry O’Gorman, hopes that recently appointed county senior hurling manager Darragh Egan can bring a new lease of life to the team.
Previously a member of Liam Sheedy’s Tipperary management team, Egan doesn’t quite have the same high-profile as the man he succeeds in Wexford, Davy Fitzgerald.
But he has a strong reputation for being an innovative coach, and O’Gorman believes fresh ideas are what’s needed after Fitzgerald’s five-year reign ended.
“It sort of came in under the radar, to be honest,” says O’Gorman of Egan’s appointment.
“There was a lot of talk about Eddie Brennan, there was talks about Anthony Daly, there was talks about JJ Doyle, even Liam Dunne's name was mentioned again. Darragh Egan's name wasn't heard of. Brendan Cummins' was mentioned, William Maher, who was involved with my own club down below and is a great hurling guy, he was also mentioned. But no one knew about Darragh Egan, we didn't know much about him.
“I know he was in the backroom team with Liam Sheedy and that. It sort of came out of the blue. No one really knows much about him and maybe that is the best thing could happen to Wexford - a guy that comes in fresh, who we know very little about, and he might bring a whole new life to hurling in general.
“Maybe he will have new ideas and new plans and maybe so that it will be just about Wexford rather than being about the manager that takes over.”
O’Gorman believes the Wexford county board were right to look outside the county again for a manager because there were no outstanding home-grown candidates.
“Personally, you ask yourself is there anyone within the county good enough to take over? It is hard to judge it because there's not too many guys that have too much experience at managing at club level and there is not too many guys that have gone out managing other county teams either, so it is something new that has changed in Wexford over the years, we have done it with hurling and football over a number of years.
“For some reason, it just seems we are improving a little bit once we get outside managers. There are no strings attached with anyone, with players tied to in-house managers and stuff like that. Having an outsider coming in could be a blessing, that he comes in with a clean slate.
“It is going to be two years at least to get the ball up and running, but he is a good hurling man and has a great knowledge of the game.”
There has been some speculation that Davy Fitzgerald might make a quick return to inter-county management with Galway, but O’Gorman doesn’t believe that’s likely.
“I can't see it,” he says. “Nothing against Davy, but I think the Galway boys themselves, if they have to bring in a new structure and it takes Davy a two or three year plan to get a structure up and running, the Galway team are starting to age a small bit now, Tipperary are in the same boat, as well.
“There are a lot of these guys up around 28 or 29, so Davy will have to get back in and have a three or four year plan if he is going to get a job like that. I am not quite sure whether it will work with Galway.
“Galway are a type of county that need success overnight because success breeds success and if they can win an All-Ireland or are close enough in the next year or two, they'll get stronger and stronger as the years come along, but I think Galway are good enough to look after themselves.
"It would be very strange to see Davy after he leaving us and then he would go to the opposition straight away. You would not be calling it great loyalty, to be honest.
“When you are fully committed to a county I think you should stick with that county and then take a break for a couple of years after that. It is really down to himself and your loyalty and love for a county only sticks with you when you are with that county apparently.
“I think when you move on you want to give it a rest for a wee while. Maybe, go for some other challenge, maybe take over a football county somewhere just to give himself a break from hurling.”
- Larry O’Gorman was speaking at the launch of the 2021 Beko Club Champion, a competition to reward and celebrate local GAA club heroes who go above and beyond to help their local club. For more information visit leinstergaa.ie/beko-club-champion/.