Dublin manager Jim Gavin

JUST days away from his second All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final as Dublin manager, Jim Gavin still manages to exude the sense of calmness that seems ever-present in his interviews.
He is hoping to repeat the victory he steered Dublin to against Kerry in the 2013 final which was his first year in charge as senior manager.
In the lead-up to Sunday’s game against the Kingdom, Gavin spoke highly of the opposition.
“Certainly from a Dublin perspective we’d have the ultimate respect for Kerry and what they’ve achieved,” he said.
“They have an outstanding team of players and a lot of youth coming in there and pushing hard for places.
“I think there have only been five or six players who have started in all their championship games which is a testament to the squad and how they’ve rotated. It really will be the finishing team that will challenge for honours on Sunday.”
Dublin booked their place in the final after an epic two games against Mayo.
After the original semi-final finished in a draw, Gavin’s charges eventually saw off the Westerners 3-15 to 2-14 in the replay. Dublin had earlier in the season cruised to another Leinster final success but Gavin insisted even the lower-profile games played their part.
“I think the Leinster campaign was still a tough challenge for us,” said the 1995 All-Ireland winning half-forward.
“We did a lot of work going into those games, we played with a high level of respect for the teams we were playing and prepared accordingly for them.
“So those results didn’t just happen; players had to prepare and bring performances to the plate, the Leinster Championship means a lot to this Dublin team and we were very proud to win it this year.
“But in the championship series, certainly the Fermanagh game was another level,” he continued.
“They certainly put us under pressure in the last quarter of the game. You want to be careful about what you wish for but in hindsight, the two games [vs Mayo] have served us well, they were two cracking games against a cracking Mayo team.”
Many in the capital are wondering how the Dubs will deal with Kerry’s specific threats but Gavin insisted the focus has been more on his own team’s strength’s.
“From the Dublin perspective,” he said. “We’ve done most of our work in the last two weeks on our game and trying to get our game right. And if we can do that we’ll hopefully put ourselves in a position to get a result.”