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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Life is an education for Bohan

IT'S a text Mick Bohan will remember forever. It came from Donegal's Michael Murphy.

Bohan was part of Jim Gavin's Dublin managerial under-21 All-Ireland winning ticket.

During the course of the matches Mick would be running onto the pitch with messages from the sideline for the players.

During the U21 All-Ireland final in Cavan, he was giving a message to Rory O'Carroll. He was met with a firm shoulder -- from Murphy.

Bohan showed no reaction. He just got on with it. "The last thing I'd do is to react to something like that," he insists.

Then came the text -- from Murphy. "I never met the lad. I don't even know how he got my number," explains Mick.

Basically, Murphy apologised for the shoulder. He said it came out of frustration. He added that Dublin deserved to win the game.

"Doesn't that say something about the guy. He was just after losing an All-Ireland final, yet he took the time out to do that.

"If Donegal had won it, it would have been all about his contribution, yet they lost and all the talk was of his missed penalty.

"I thought it was just a remarkable gesture. I believe he's a very unassuming character with no notions about himself whatsoever."

In his text, Michael added that he looked forward to working with Mick at DCU next season. Mick is looking forward to it too.

And he's thrilled that so many of the present-day Dublin footballers are involved in third-level education. He can see the benefits of it on the pitch.

In the Heffo era, several of those Dublin footballers also prospered off the pitch.

"The reality of it is that we are actually heading back in that direction," reflects Mick. "The Dublin under-21s are a very well-educated unit.

"We have a collection of educated young men, and with that you have even more of a chance of achieving success on the pitch.

"The success of the under-21 group was not individual. It was a collective effort. It was all about combined workrate. You'd have the likes of Rory O'Carroll at UCD, Eoin Culligan, James McCarthy and Jonny Cooper at DCU, Cian Mullins and both David Quinns (Na Fianna/Lucan) at Maynooth, plus Ciarán Reddin and Darragh Nelson at DIT.

"The exposure these fellas are getting to top-class football and education is incredible. I feel the third-level colleges have a big role to play in Dublin football.

"Niall Moyna asked me to get involved coaching at DCU. I worked with Tony Diamond. It's been an incredible journey."

The Diamond-Bohan partnership brought both the O'Byrne Cup and the Sigerson to DCU.

"The Sigerson is a special competition. It's as close to inter-county as you could get.

"You have all these guys playing against each other for their counties, yet playing on the same team in college. It helps to create respect and friendships for life.

"I remember my own playing career: 16 years in senior football with Clontarf; one Division 2 League medal to show for it; three losing Championship semi-finals.

"But it's not about the medals. It's about the people you meet along the road. People you'll remember forever."

People like young Michael Murphy.

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