Fitzgerald: "I'm here for the long haul"

Fitzgerald: "I'm here for the long haul"

New Waterford football boss Ephie Fitzgerald has said his role at the Déise could be one of his last, and that he's in for the long-haul.

Fitzgerald has signed with the Suirsiders on a two-year term, having recently departed the role of Cork Ladies Football manager.

That post has been taken up by former Waterford manager Shane Ronayne, who departed Waterford after only four competitive games and a single season, having also signed a deal for the same time period.

However, Fitzgerald says he will be staying with Waterford for some time to come.


"If I'm wanted, I'm here for the long haul, and that's a guarantee." said the former Nemo Rangers footballer on SportsBeat Xtra.

"I put a lot of thought into doing this, I could have gone places that were far more competitive but it's not for me.

"It's about getting the best out of individuals.

"People say 'he's going to Waterford, what's that about?'. I'm going to Waterford to improve people, to help with structures, to improve football in the county, and obviously make us competitive at Senior intercounty level."


Fitzgerald says he's looking for players to commit to the footballing cause, and says his environment will be quite different to some other intercounty setups.

"If there's something that's bugging them...or they need a mental break away, they're things I need to identify and make sure that players are looked after."

"Do I put in drink bans and all that stuff? Not a bit of it. They're adults, they make up their own minds.

"The ownership comes from them. People makes mistakes, and what I want to do is generate an ethos where the group will fix it, rather than Ephie Fitzgerald having to fix it."


That includes balancing players' club commitments with representing their county at the highest level.

"The club can't be shut out of it. If there are league matches and guys are anxious to play - depending on the circumstance - I have no issue with any of that kind of stuff. I don't want to create a club vs county dilemma, which sometimes happens. 'Oh they're mine now for six months because it's our season', I think that's rubbish."

The new Déise Bainisteoir was speaking on SportsBeat Xtra, along with News and Sports Journalist with the Tuam Herald David Connors, giving his reaction with the news that Henry Shefflin has taken the vacant Galway hurling position.