CLARE BOSS DAVY Fitzgerald believes RTÉ were ‘ridiculous’ to focus on the expletives that he aimed at a Waterford player in last Sunday’s Munster SHC semi-final during their match analysis on ‘The Sunday Game’ and has reiterated his view that that Déise attacker John Mullane’s post-match celebrations in front of him were a result of the De La Salle player being misinformed in an effort to motivate him before the match.
Fitzgerald, who was speaking to Clare FM on their Sideline View programme, also insists that he is determined to move on from the controversies that marred last Sunday’s match.
“I don’t think it’s right. All the papers have said RTÉ were ridiculous doing what they did and they were. I’m not going to go saying that it’s right to use bad langugae. But is it used all the time? Pretty much. But it’s amazing only one side came out and not the comment before that. I’m not going to go into that stuff, I’ve no interest. I don’t believe we should go into it and sling this back.
“I’ve come across a lot of managers that have used language stronger than mine. You look back a few years ago Liam Sheedy having a go at Brian Cody, I’d love to know what was said then. But that wasn’t played. I don’t mind that, I love to see that passion. To me when you’re on the field, you have it out there and then, and you leave it.
“I’d be more than happy enough that I dealt with everything okay. I’ve been managing teams for over 20 years. I don’t think I’ve been involved in a whole pile of incidents. I try to keep myself away from that stuff. If people want to see that and have a go fine. I’m not going to feel sorry for myself that I’m being targeted.
“I’m a fiery character. I’ll try to make sure there’s no microphone there the next time. If I feel something, I’m going to say it and I’ll stand for what I believe in. I don’t want any focus on me. I want myself and the team concentrating on themselves. But I can’t stop when someone picks on something small involving me.”
Fitzgerald rejected suggestions that were divisions between himself and the Waterford players that he used to manage and is adamant that he had a good working relationship with Mullane.
“Certain people in Waterford were trying to wind up John Mullane. Maybe he was a small bit gullible to believe him. I got on great with him and it’s disappointing to see him like that. I couldn’t believe it and didn’t know what the story was. It was just something that took me by surprise. I got a number of texts from Waterford players, not wanting to do much with it. Very few have a division, you could count them on half of one hand.
“John Mullane wouldn’t have a problem, people were just trying to wind him up to get a performance. That’s where it came from. It worked for them. I don’t agree with the reaction but it’s not bothering me. I didn’t do an interview ove rthe last few weeks and didn’t say anything about him. I ‘d like to think I’m smart enough not to do that. It’s tough to take the incidents afterwards but it happens and I’m bigger than that. It’s over and done with as far as I’m concerned.”
Fitzgerald also insisted that he will continue to stay on the sideline during Clare senior matches despite an opinion being expressed in local media this week that he and the team would be better served if the former goalkeeping star watched games from the stands. And the Sixmilebridge native has no intention of diluting the passion which is a key facet of his management style, revealing he wore a heart monitor on the sideline in Semple Stadium last Sunday.
“Someone told me about that. I think it was your man Peter O’Connell in the Clare Champion. Do I take him seriously? Probably not. That stuff just goes over my head. I think he was the only one to come out with something stupid like that. It doesn’t bother me.
“I trust my lads in the stand, Louis (Mulqueen) and Mike (Deegan), we have an excellent communication system. At the end of the day, I will make the decision but with their help and foresight. I think being on the sideline is a good presence and it’s important. I don’t read into any of that other stuff.
“Believe it or not, I had a heart monitor on last Sunday. It was just for a number of reasons, to see how it was. For over 90% of that game, I was as calm as I’d be any other day. I’ve worked hard on that. But you can’t beat a bit of passion. Let’s not turn back to a Mickey Mouse game altogether.”