Sitting down for a chat with Davy Fitzgerald, even a virtual one, there are certain expectations - that the Wexford manager will be passionate, opinionated and engaging.

Reassuringly, some things don't change, even in a world turned upside down and inside out by Covid-19.

A month ago, Fitzgerald spoke eloquently of his belief that the 2020 inter-county All-Irelands shouldn't be cancelled despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Last Sunday, he coached a Sixmilebridge team to success in a Clare hurling championship many feared wouldn't be played.

"I'm always one of these guys that the glass is half-full with," he tells RTÉ Sport.

"I did believe there was a way, if you remember my interviews early on, I was saying, 'let’s just hold tough, let’s take our time, let’s see what happens.’

"Maybe it was just a thing in my head that we need to get on and hopefully we get a chance to do something.

"The weekend was pretty special, to tell you the truth. If you take it from March right through to June, it was a serious few months for a number of reasons.

"You couldn’t get together. I was worried about well-being of players and that. To have them out and doing a bit was great. Then to get the matches on, to end up in a county final and to end up winning it, it’s very special. 

"On Sunday, there were 200 supporters in there and they made enough noise. Was it different? Yes, it was.

"But to tell you the truth once the game is on it’s a game of hurling. That’s what you grew up doing and you want to be competitive and we had two competitive teams.

"That’s all you want, to be out there playing the ball and letting yourself go."

Davy Fitzgerald on the sideline during the Clare senior hurling final

The 49-year-old does not take the threat of coronavirus lightly - he is more at risk than most having had heart surgery in 2016 - but he thinks that sport is too valuable to give up, as long as the correct precautions are taken.

"Was it a scary time at the start? Of course it was," he admits. "Especially, when you have a condition like that. 

"But now it comes down to personal responsibility and trying to mind myself as much as I can and take precautions.

"The way I see life, even the mental side of things, for me, getting out and meeting a few people, I think it's so important. I have five stents, but I want to be involved. 

"The importance of sport, the importance of GAA, especially, we have found out all about it, and it is very, very important.

"It’s my own personal choice to get out there and be involved. There are risks. I am prepared to take them. I want to be as careful as I can in the meantime.

"I don’t want to stop my life, but I am aware of stuff I need to do better.

"We (Wexford) have our own Covid officer who has everything off to a tee. He is one who leads me every night at training, what we have to do. He's the one, if anything pops up, who is going to take charge.

"It’s funny, it’s another part of your backroom team (now). We’ll do 100% what he feels needs to be done.

"Have things changed from the last few years being around a team? Certainly. You've to check in and answer the questions on the app every day before you come training. I’m a lot more conscious about sanitising and stuff like that, about not hugging guys and touching off guys.

"But I am one of these guys who want to get out and get on with things. I just need to be as sensible as I possibly can, try and adhere to as many guidelines as I can."

Aside from an extra focus on Sixmilebridge, Fitzgerald used the lockdown hours saved not driving up and down to Wexford to get fitter -  walking, calorie counting, cycling and a "small bit" of running - and to play golf with friends he hadn't had the time to see before.

He admits he was tempted to get a round in at Dromoland Castle, 12km from home, but sensibly decided to wait until 5km restrictions had eased instead.

"Even in the last week or two there were a few times when I just threw down my phone and didn't bother with it"

A man who started managing teams even before he finished playing, Fitzgerald also appreciated the time for family and reflection that the enforced break from the hurling treadmill afforded.

"One of the big things I will take out of this is to spend more time around my mam or dad if I can," he says. "I live a very short distance from them. Spending time with the people that really matter instead of rushing around the place.

"Get myself in a bit better health. I have a nice bit of weight loss that I want to try and keep off. I feel way better, more energetic. I find the last few weeks, since I'm up and down to Wexford maybe, I have neglected that a small bit. I’ve got to be wary of that.

"It’s kind of a reconnect thing that happened. I find myself flat to the mat at the moment but even in the last week or two there were a few times when I just threw down my phone and didn’t bother with it. I wouldn’t have done that before and I don’t think that’s any harm.

"I actually changed my number recently because I was getting absolutely hammered with different things. It’s just nice to have your own bit of space and your own bit of time.

"I have probably appreciated that way more in lockdown, that I got that bit of time.

"I feel I’m rushing around (now), I don’t have as much time as I did but I’ve got to make it. I’m very aware of it."