herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Gavin parks spring history as summer beckons

Dublin footballer Denis Bastick and Kildare footballer Eamonn Callaghan in attendance at the launch of the 2015 Leinster GAA Senior Championships. Farmleigh House & Gardens, Phoenix Park, Dublin
Dublin footballer Denis Bastick and Kildare footballer Eamonn Callaghan in attendance at the launch of the 2015 Leinster GAA Senior Championships. Farmleigh House & Gardens, Phoenix Park, Dublin

QUESTION for Jim Gavin in the hiatus between spring deliverance and summer promise: does he feel any sense of history having led Dublin to three leagues in a row?

One-word answer: "No."

It's an intriguing response given the context: Dublin footballers had never previously won two NFL titles on the bounce, let alone three, before Gavin took the managerial reins. Now, in year three, he's completed a rapid-fire hat-trick.

Ten days after watching his team torpedo Cork in the final, Gavin's thought processes had long since turned to a Leinster SFC opener, against either Offaly or Longford, at the end of this month.

That league treble is something for his players to "look back on at the end of their careers, that they've won three National Leagues. It is a great achievement for them," he declared.

"It's our job to get the players to be the best they can be on any given day. If they can get that, then they put themselves in a strong position to compete for trophies.

"We've been inconsistent in the league. They know it and I know it, so we've a lot of work to try and get that consistency from the start, in our opening round against Offaly or Longford.

"It's winner-takes-all. The Leinster championship means a lot to Dublin and we want to retain the Delaney Cup. That's our ambition this year."

The ultimate ambition, of course, is bigger and bolder. Sam or bust.

Gavin was asked about last week's prediction, from retired Dub Bryan Cullen, that his county would once again come through Leinster "at a canter" - the inference being that this mightn't be ideal preparation for August and/or September.

"Any game that we've played, that we've done well in, there's a lot of hard work goes into preparing for the game. It's not a matter of just turning up at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon to play the game … all of those victories are hard won," he maintained.

On the injury front, Gavin admitted there is no definite return date for Ger Brennan as he steps up his recovery from recent Achilles surgery.

"Ger is progressing well with the medical team and the athletics team. He's back training hard, so hopefully he'll put himself in a position to be selected later on in the summer," the manager explained.

"The opening round will be too soon for him. But after that, we don't know where our path will go - so obviously we'll want the team to keep winning to give him a chance to play later on."

Dublin

Promoted articles

Entertainment News