Davy Fitzgerald wants Wexford...

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Davy Fitzgerald wants Wexford to play 'Total Hurling'


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It's not often that a true hurling man will admit to taking a leaf out of a soccer coaching manual but Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald has admitted that he is encouraging his players to go Dutch and play 'Total Hurling'.

The 'Total Football' philosophy was born and perfected in the Netherlands, most notably by the Dutch 1974 World Cup side managed by Rinus Michels and with legendary player Johan Cruyff as its most famous exponent.

Cruyff had great success as a player and then as a coach, developing the philosophy further at Ajax and Barcelona.

The key tenet of Total Football is the free movement of players within the team and the ability of every player to play in every position, something that was evident in the Wexford performance in their draw against Dublin on Sunday.

"Did well, [he] did well," Fitzgerald said when asked by Off The Ball's Stephen Doyle about the performance of Liam Óg McGovern after the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship round robin match.

"He was midfield, half-forward. If you watched all the forwards, they were switching all over the place. There's no-one tied down to any position with me and if you look at it, the amount of attacking forwards we got going forward was unreal.

"That is the case and if you end up at corner-back, if you end up at midfield, keep going. Someone else will get back into your position. Just play hurling!"

Davy Fitzgerald urges players to 'attack the space'

There were a couple of periods in the match at Parnell Park when the Dublin hurlers were able to pick off several scores without reply.

Fitzgerald's gameplan may need some tweaking but based on his post-match comments it would seem that he is happy to trust the players to make the right decisions during the game.

"I would be an advocate of, go out and just play hurling," said Fitzgerald. "Just let go. Go where you want to go and someone else will cover back for you.

"It's only a matter of someone looking around and filling in that spot and off you go.

"I think it is savage like, you have [a] short ball, long ball, crossfield ball, you can't tell me, some of the scores there today were phenomenal."

And when asked if he is taking a leaf from Cruyff's coaching handbook, Fitzgerald is happy to admit, that is exactly how he wants his players to approach the game.

"That's what I'm trying to tell everybody, that's what I want! I want anything to happen. Go, attack the space. Keep going if you want to keep going. Whatever it is, just go play.

"The lads will tell you, they have free rein to do anything."


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