Dublin toasts Jim Gavin’s legendary reign as boss

by Cóilín Duffy

TRIBUTES have been pouring in for Jim Gavin, after he called time on his involvement as Dublin senior football manager on Saturday, following a meeting with Dublin GAA CEO John Costello.

In a statement on the shock move, Dublin GAA Chairman Sean Shanley paid tribute to the “five-in-a-row” All-Ireland winning manager.

“Dublin GAA will be forever grateful to Jim Gavin for his dedication, commitment and contribution as a player and, since 2003, leading the next generation of players at Under-21 and Senior level,” Shanley said. “I regret his departure but appreciate the huge sacrifices he has made over this period.”

The statistics are staggering. In 107 competitive games across the All-Ireland and Leinster Championships, and the Allianz Football League, 86 wins were produced, resulting in 18 titles out of a possible 21.

In addition to the five-in-a-row, under Gavin’s tenure, Dublin also claimed Sam Maguire in 2013. They went unbeaten under his stewardship in Leinster, picking up seven provincial titles in-a-row – along with five Allianz Football League Division 1 titles including a four-in-a-row between 2013 and 2016; and a further success in 2018.

Gaelic Players Association CEO and former Dublin player Paul Flynn, who retired from inter-county football last May, was among those to pay tribute.

“He has not only driven the standards for Dublin GAA, but also intercounty teams all over the country,” he said.

These were sentiments echoed by Barry Cahill.

“He was so meticulous about his preparations and how he went about his business.

“He left no stone unturned in how he approached things, and he was very meticulous in how he went about it.

“The results speak for themselves, not just what he has done in the past seven years, but the previous four years with the Under-21s also.”

Jim’s home club Round Towers Clondalkin will host a special “members only” event to pay tribute to him this Saturday.

The club toasted Jim and fellow club member Frank Roebuck, who has also been involved with Dublin under Gavin.

“What has been achieved by Jim is unprecedented. This is testament to the huge responsibility he has undertaken to meticulously prepare the team for each of the challenges it has faced and to ensure players receive the best preparation and support.

“For the past decade, Jim has been keenly involved in preparing Dublin teams. We are forever grateful to Jim for the role he’s fulfilled in promoting our club and the Clondalkin community with great honour.

“We also take this opportunity to pay tribute to our very own Frank Roebuck, who has been an integral part of Jim’s backroom team and has undertaken huge personal sacrifices to support Jim and the team.”

Meanwhile, Dublin GAA have already begun the process to seek Gavin’s successor.

It’s expected that the new manager will be announced next week, on or before December 12 – the date of the annual Dublin GAA Convention.

On Monday night at a meeting in Parnell Park, a sub-committee to interview potential candidates was proposed, and it is likely that committee will be rubber-stamped by the County Committee tonight (Thursday).

Interviews with potential candidates are set to take place this weekend with former All-Ireland Under 21, and Minor winning manager, and ex-GPA CEO Dessie Farrell among the forerunners.

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