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Rory O'Connor says Wexford weren't worried by Davy Fitzgerald's Galway link
Last Updated: 06/11/19 11:06pm
Compared to some of the tumultuous scenarios in other top-tier counties, Wexford's off-season managerial negotiations were relatively straightforward.
But, nonetheless, for a number of weeks in the aftermath of the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary, it seemed up in the air as to whether or not Davy Fitzgerald would commit to another term in charge of the Slaney-siders.
After the Clare man was linked to the vacant Galway job, the Leinster county eventually confirmed he was staying put.
Although there may have been uncertainty amid the general public, the playing squad had little doubt the Clare native would be staying put.
"We know Davy so well. Unfortunately whatever you read and see you just can't believe until you hear it from the horse's mouth," said Wexford star Rory O'Connor.
"So I didn't even need to ask him, I knew well that that wasn't being negotiated or being dealt with. Look, hearing it will cause upset and people will hear it and they'll spread it and then it will become even bigger and bigger. As players we knew that if he wasn't going to come back to us he wasn't going to do anything at all, he was going to take a year out."
The squad have full faith that the 2013 All-Ireland winning boss is the best man to lead them forward.
"If there ever was another man to bring us another step again it's certainly going to be himself," continued the St Martin's club man. "We're all delighted to have him back. He's done massive work in the last three years and got us to climb the Hogan [Stand] steps. There's a refreshing element going into this year too."
That refreshing element comes in the form of a backroom-team shake-up, with Fitzgerald bringing in ex-Banner star Brendan Bugler.
"It's great to have a [former] player that's just recently retired," said O'Connor. "We had Stephen Molumphy, he's actually gone to Waterford this year. But he helped out with the forwards and even his talks one-on-one, it was fresh, it was as if he was just after playing a game in that kind of sense.
"So I'm sure Brendan is going to bring the exact same enthusiasm. Even talking to him he seems like a born winner already and he's fully behind the whole wheel.
"[Fitzgerald] has coached this fella to win an All-Ireland and he was one of his leading guys, so if Davy trusts him I'm not going to have an opinion on him, I'm sure I'm going to trust him."
While summer 2019 ultimately ended in disappointment for Wexford, they can look back on it with pride once the dust has settled. Two All-Star awards last Friday - the county's first gongs since 2004 - are further tangible proof of progress being made.
They are on an upward spiral, and with Davy Fitz strapped in for another two years, they will be hopeful of reaching the summit.