Manager departs Limerick champions to concentrate on Clare role

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Ballylanders manager Ephie Fitzgerald pictured during Sunday's Munster club SFC defeat to The Nire
BALLYLANDERS’ Limerick SFC winning manager Ephie Fitzgerald has confirmed he won’t be the club’s manager for their title defence in 2015.

BALLYLANDERS’ Limerick SFC winning manager Ephie Fitzgerald has confirmed he won’t be the club’s manager for their title defence in 2015.

Speaking to media after Sunday’s exit from the Munster club championship the Cork native said that he wouldn’t have the time to continue in his current role with Ballylanders due to his appointment as Clare senior football coach.

Nemo Rangers club-man Fitzgerald is a former Limerick senior football coach and only joined Ballylanders this season, leading them to a first Limerick title since 2007.

Days after their county final win Fitzgerald was unveiled as the new Clare coach to work alongside manager Colm Collins.

While disappointed with their Munster championship display against The Nire on Sunday, departing Fitzgerald feels the future is bright for the south Limerick club.

“I just said to the boys that they had a fantastic year and well done and maybe try and build on it because there are a lot of young lads in Ballylanders coming up and there is a bright future there,” explained Fitzgerald outside the defeated dressing room.

“I have great memories of Ballylanders and I have really taken to them and I think vice versa. I have made some great friends here and I will be keeping an eye on things and give an hand but not in a managerial role,” he said.

“There has been a huge effort put in this year from the lads. To win the county championship was an absolute marvellous achievement for them and maybe today was a bridge too far. They had hurling (Glenroe) for the last few weeks and lost that last week and they have done a hell of a lot of training and maybe it was a day too far but I wouldn’t use that as an excuse because I think we were beaten by a better team on the day,” outlined the former Nemo supremo.

“Anytime you lose its disappointing but we can’t have any arguments - they were the better side, stronger than us physically and well set-up and we couldn’t compete with their physicality,” he said of The Nire.