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Davy is “hopelessly drawn” to proving people wrong

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The name Davy Fitzgerald is synonymous with great hurling and in later year’s successful management, “but to me, he was one of the greatest goalkeepers to ever play the game”.

So states Donal Óg Cusack, another outstanding goalkeeper from Cork. This quote comes from a new book ‘At All Costs’, which is ghosted by well-known sports journalist Vincent Hogan. He takes us through the ups and downs of a great player who won two All-Ireland hurling titles with his native Clare and in his retirement he went on to manage his native county to All-Ireland glory.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as he reveals his battles with ill health; he survived two heart attacks and also bouts of depression. He was also bullied in school and this bothered him, but the hurling saved him. He is a volatile and spirited character and this is very evident in his book which tells it warts and all.

“But it is fair to say that I was a coiled spring most of the time,” he readily admits. Little wonder, then, that he was embroiled in several controversies. He got into trouble with referees. “Again maybe I’d have been better advised to say nothing, but my head was stewing.” He defended his players when he was managing teams. “I had zero sympathy for the difficulty of the referee’s job. If I felt my team had been wronged I’d go to war almost in reflex.”

Proving people wrong

“There’s something in my psychological make-up that means I’m hopelessly drawn towards proving people wrong - it is how I am wired.”

Successful as he was in goal, sparks invariably flew. He saw no danger between the posts and he saved some miraculous shots. Who can ever forget his forays up field when a penalty was awarded to Clare? And it was often a very successful mission as his piledrivers made the opposition’s nets, raising those match-turning and match-winning green flags.

“I adore the trump of the underdog and I can’t think of anything better in sport or in life than somebody defying the odds. I see something of myself in the underdog. If anything I have too much belief in my own ability. It’s something that rubs people up the wrong way. I recognise that.”

He loves to see people “step outside their comfort zone and achieving”. That is exactly what he does in his life as a player and as a manager. “I have never been motivated by medals. The human story is what drives me on. Medals are the bonus.”

His bravery between the posts for club and county underlies the graphic account of his exploits including the Club Championship semi-final against Crusheen when a forward pulled high and the result for Davy was “looking down at my left hand and I could see part of my fourth finger hanging off. Instinctively I reached down to try to reconnect it”.

Forced out

What is very clear from the book is that as a manager he commanded fierce loyalty and he was a real players’ man, defending and supporting them through all their travails. He was often in controversy with the Clare County Board and even though he delivered an All-Ireland, that was not a recipe for calmness. The day came when he was forced out of the job as manager of Clare. The media gave him a tough time and so did the County Board.

What made it more difficult was that his father was secretary of the County Board. The charge of nepotism was on the lips of many and Ger Loughnane, his former playing partner with the Banner, was loud in his criticism of Davy, calling for his resignation as Clare boss.

Fr Harry Bohan was very appreciating of what Davy had done both as a player and as a manager with Clare but even that wasn’t enough to save him. Davy says he never took a cent from the Supporters Club. He got dogs’ abuse for using the short puck out game but he soldiered on as he believed it suited the Clare team that he had.

His training method was very demanding on his players and he tells of the bonding session which had them sliding down the Devil’s Ladder in Carrantuohill in the dark. Savage stuff. He had the dilemma with Podge Collins who declared that he wanted to play football and hurling with Clare and that did not sit easily with Davy. This was compounded when Colm Collins, Podge’s father, was appointed as manager of the Clare football team shortly after Clare winning the All-Ireland hurling title. More trouble.

Honorary Fellowship

One of the great occasions for Davy was when he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from LIT for his successful work preparing the college team for the Fitzgibbon Cup.

Davy Fitzgerald bares his heart and soul to Vincent Hogan who presents this spirited soul to its readers. It is a great read, from his time as a player and later as a manager with Clare, Waterford and his present role as manager of Wexford.

Davy’s sentiments on the dust cover tell a lot.

“I’m a bad loser. That’s not something I can hide. Most competitive people are. Bad days can come close to poisoning you. There have been occasions when I’ve taken defeat too personally and, maybe, it’s left me looking petty and ungracious. I suppose I’m learning that all the time. But this game, this game of hurling puts life in us that I hope I never lose.”

The book is on sale now in Easons Killarney.

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Are you getting enough sleep?

By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating a […]

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By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness

We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed.

Incorporating a routine helps to bring direction and structure, and as Craig Ballantyne so wonderfully put it in his book ‘The Perfect Day’; “Structure = Freedom”.

In our childhood, we became accustomed to a bedtime routine. In fact, those of us who are parents go to great lengths to create this routine for our own children, knowing the benefits it brings. However, as we moved into adulthood, that same routine was thrown out the window by the demanding world of school and full-time work.

Sleep and health are locked together. When we improve our sleep, we have better energy, mood, and recover easier from exercise. When we sleep better it helps us to make better nutrition choices because sleep regulates our hormones. Yet it’s one of the first things we sacrifice in order to get through our full to-do list. Whatever these or our end goal is, jeopardising our health seems to be counterproductive and also just a little crazy! Why is it that as adults we stray so far away from one of the very foundational rituals that can keep us feeling grounded?

So how much sleep do you need? About six to eight hours is good but the exact number depends on the person. No matter who you are, you’ll feel worn out if you don’t get enough.

Here are some suggestions to help you achieve greater balance and a sound night’s sleep:

Limit caffeine:

It takes a long time for caffeine to get out of your system, so avoid it late in the day. Typically, have your last caffeinated drink 10 hours before your bedtime.

Be active:

Physical activity reduces stress and improves sleep. One exception is not to do a hard workout right before bed as it might be tough to wind down for a while afterwards.

Unwind early:

Turn off screens well before bedtime. Bright screens can mess with your body’s sleep mechanisms, so turn off TV’s, tablets and smartphones earlier in the evening. Take the dog out, brush your teeth, get into your pyjamas, and get into bed before the time you want to be asleep.

Brain dump for the next day:

Spend 5-10 minutes each night writing a list of to-do items to ensure you hit the pillow feeling organised and in control.

Set out your clothes the evening before:

This small task can save you a lot of last-minute rushing. Take the extra five minutes now when you have it.

Cool, dark and quiet:

When it comes to sleep, you want it cool, dark and quiet. Adjust the temperature or get a fan going, hang some blackout curtains and try to reduce any noise near your bedroom.

Buy an alarm clock:

This will help you to avoid being distracted by notifications should you wake and check the time in the middle of the night. Set an alarm right now for tonight. When it goes off, start your evening routine so you get into bed on time for a good night’s sleep!

Here at Activate, we promote and encourage balance to ensure we are living a happy and healthy life. Sleep is one very essential and key component of this. We hope these tips help you get some much-needed rest! When you combine great sleep with sound nutrition and solid training, you’ll feel amazing and make more progress toward your goals.

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Kerry Stars “pursuing dream to build own sports centre”

By Sean Moriarty Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser. The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds. However, the project remains […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser.

The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds.

However, the project remains on the long finger as the club has been concentrating on the safety of its members throughout the pandemic.

The delay prompted Cllr Donal Grady to ask Kerry County Council if it had any plans to build houses on the site.

Mr Grady asked the question in the context of making sure the land did not go to waste and not in opposition to any plans by Kerry Stars.

“The site referred to was originally identified as a potential site for development as a specific sports facility. That project has not materialised,” a Council official said.

“Kerry Stars had been in contact with Kerry County Council regarding use of the site, and it was expected that further communication would be received from them in the very short-term. As yet, Kerry County Council is awaiting further communication and will liaise directly with the Kerry Stars group before we can give consideration to use of the lands under the ‘Housing for All’ housing plan.”

However, Kerry Stars chairman John Spillane said they still “have every intention of pursuing our dream of have our own sports centre”.

“The location makes perfect sense, it is the sports hub of Killarney and all the clubs there could help and learn from each other.”

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