Davy Fitzgerald claims he's calmer on the sideline than he is watching at home

The Clare man is known for his animated displays as he watches his teams in action

Davy Fitzgerald, Clare,

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Davy Fitzgerald is perhaps best described as fanatical about hurling. Anyone who has ever watched him on the sideline of a game will know that. 

He has never been one to hide his passion, in particular when he feels decisions are not going the way of his team, but by his own admission, he's a calmer man when he's speaking to players and refs than he would be at home watching the game on television. 

Speaking at the launch of the Bord na Mona Leinster GAA Series 2017 (essentially the O'Byrne, Walsh and Kehoe Cups), Fitzgerald spoke about what drove him to get straight back into the game after walking away from his position as Clare manager, as well as the health issues he's had recently.

In July, Fitzgerald had two angioplasty stints inserted in St. Vincent's hospital in Dublin, but was back on the sideline a matter of days later, something he admits was not his best decision now that he looks back on it.

"Probably the first time I got this in 2009, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. I kept f**king driving on, saying, 'That was that, it was just unlucky. It’s hereditary and it’s in my family'," Fitzgerald said.

"But in the last few months, it has hit me a bit more, that this happened for the second time and when you have a blockage like that... And so what did I f**king do but go back for the f**king Galway game a week after having the blockage, like, it probably wasn’t the best thing I did.

"In saying that, if I was at home watching the match I’d actually be more...I’m actually way calmer when I’m there at the game and I’m in it, I’m grand, my mind is in a place and I’m fine, but if I’m at home I would be absolutely hopping off the wall there."

Given how much jumping, screaming and shouting the Sixmilebridge man gets through when he's right next to the pitch, it probably isn't worth imagining what he's like when he's really animated. 

Fitzgerald added that he wasn't thinking too much about his health at the time, "but in the weeks afterwards I did and it was one of the reasons going to Wexford that I was so 50/50 about doing it."

"It took me a while to make up my mind and a lot of the reason would have been I’m not 100% happy with [my health]. The most important thing in life is life and the health you have.

"At times we don’t value that enough. The last few months, even in the darker months, the last month or two, it’s coming into my head, 'OK, what exactly happened to you? You got a blockage. You don’t want to get one of them again because that could be fatal'. And it was me that copped it myself that time."

Earlier this week, Fitzgerald gave a revealing interview to Vincent Hogan in which he spoke about the sense of relief that he felt when he left the Clare job, and what inspired him to take another job so soon.

He touched on that again on Thursday, adding that despite his long round trip (he says he leaves at 2pm to make it in time for training at 7pm, and then doesn't get home until around 1am), he's looking forward to the challenge and being involved in the sport he loves so much. 

"I do it because I enjoy it, and because I hope I can make a difference [...] that's being honest."