Davy Fitzgerald

David “Davy” Fitzgerald is an Irish hurling manager and former player. He managed the Clare senior team from 2011 until 2016.

On 7 October 2016, Fitzgerald was appointed as manager of the Wexford senior hurling team for a three-year term. On 19 February, Wexford defeated Galway by 1-21 to 3-13 in the 2017 National Hurling League at Pearse Stadium to record their second win out of two games.On 12 March 2017, Wexford achieved promotion to Division 1A of the National Hurling League with a game to spare after a 1-17 to 0-15 win against Offaly.On 2 April 2017, Wexford defeated Kilkenny by 2-18 to 0-19 at Nowlan Park in the quarter-finals of the National Hurling league, it was only the third victory from the last 21 meetings with Kilkenny.

On 16 April 2017, during the league semi-final defeat against Tipperary, Fitzgerald entered the field to challenge referee Diarmuid Kirwan thinking that it should have been a free to Wexford before the second Tipperary goal. He confronted Tipperary’s Niall O’Meara and shoved Jason Forde before leaving the field of play.Four days later Fitzgerald was handed an eight-week suspension by the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee. On 10 June 2017, Wexford defeated Kilkenny by 1-20 to 3-11 in the 2017 Leinster Championship semi-final to qualify for their first Leinster final in nine years. It was also their first summer win against Kilkenny in thirteen years. On 2 July 2017, Wexford lost to Galway in the Leinster Final by 1-17 to 0-29 and went on to play Waterford in the All-Ireland quarter-finals on 23 July 2017. In the quarter-final, Wexford lost by 1-19 to 1-23

Born in Sixmilebridge, County Clare, Fitzgerald was introduced to hurling by his father, the long-serving secretary of the county board. He enjoyed All-Ireland success at colleges level as sub-goalkeeper with St. Flannan’s College while simultaneously enjoying championship successes at underage levels with the Sixmilebridge club. A one-time All-Ireland medallist with the Sixmilebridge senior team, Fitzgerald also won two Munster medals and six championship medals.

Fitzgerald made his debut on the inter-county scene at the age of fifteen when he first linked up with the Clare minor team. An All-Ireland runner-up in this grade, he later joined the under-21 team. Fitzgerald made his senior debut during the 1989-90 league. He went on to play a key role for Clare as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his era, and won two All-Ireland medals and three Munster medals. He was an All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion.

As a member of the Munster inter-provincial team, Fitzgerald won three Railway Cup medals. Throughout his inter-county career he made 60 championship appearances, a record for a Clare player. Fitzgerald retired from inter-county hurling on 31 March 2008.

Even as a player, Fitzgerald became involved in team management and coaching at club level. After coaching every grade of Sixmilebridge team from juvenile to senior, he later had an unsuccessful tenure in charge of Nenagh Éire Óg. Fitzgerald subsequently became director of hurling at the Limerick Institute of Technology, and guided the team to two Fitzgibbon Cup titles.

Fitzgerald’s first managerial role at inter-county level was with Waterford in 2008. His appointment was somewhat controversial, in that he came in midway through the season after a number of players had called for the resignation of previous incumbent Justin McCarthy. He led Waterford to the All-Ireland final that season, however, the team faced a 23-point defeat by three-in-a-row champions Kilkenny. Fitzgerald stepped down as manager in 2011, having secured the Munster crown the previous year.

Just one month later Fitzgerald was appointed Clare manager. In the 2012 season, his first full season in charge, Fitzgerald guided the team to promotion to the top flight of the National Hurling League. The following year, Clare survived a league relegation battle with Cork, before later claiming their first All-Ireland title in seventeen years following a thrilling draw and a replay victory over Cork.