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"Now I couldn't care less" - Davy Fitz on sweeper critics

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

15:08 4 Apr 2019

Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald says he "couldn't care less" about criticism of the sweeper system.

The former Clare All-Ireland winning manager was speaking to Shane Stapleton on our The Hurling Show.

Fitzgerald admitted he used to find the criticism frustrating. But he now disregards it completely.

"Do you know what? It would have before. But now I couldn't care less," he said.

Galway in 2016

"I often hear this stuff about the way teams set up and that they've gone 6-on-6 above. I haven't seen 6-on-6 in the last 7-8 or even 10 years even - I haven't seen it.!

He continued: "I see wing forwards coming right back and transitioning up the field again. And if you look at Limerick at the moment, I totally respect how Limerick are playing  and my hat is off to them.

"And I love the way they play. Tom Morrissey, Geaoroid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes... they all get back. They might bring Graeme Mulcahy out about 45-50 yards and leave two inside and even with Waterford sitting back the half-back line the last day.

"They'll hit long sometimes, they'll pick it short from their half-back line or shoot from the middle of the field.

"You even look at Galway in 2016. They more or less won their All-Ireland from their half-forward line. You look at where Joe Canning was most of the time. They scored so many scores from the middle of the field the year they won the All-Ireland. It was unreal.

"Fair play"

"And I respect that. Whatever it takes for them counties to achieve it, fair play. And let's look at the hurling last year. Let's look at the enthusiasm around the Hurling Championship. It can't be all bad when you're playing long and short ball or doing whatever.

"And my thing, even with the sweeper, whatever it is, I think sweeper's actually the wrong word for it to tell you the truth. Because we often end up with five backs a lot of the time playing back there. Not seven. We'll encourage our lads to follow the other wing-forward and get up the field, have a chance of scoring."

He added that it's important to let players go where they want and "not confine them to a 30x30 box".

He also added that use of a sweeper tactic is dependent on the individual team or system rather than pre-ordained. Fitzgerald also revealed he consulted the players in regards to what system they wanted to work in.

You can watch The Hurling Show in full below via YouTube.

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Davy Fitzgerald Hurling Hurling Show Off The Ball Shane Stapleton Sport Wexford

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