herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Whelan: If you beat Kerry you deserve to be champs

WHATEVER that special something is that Mickey Whelan possesses, it's certainly not self-doubt.

He is the great renaissance man, the coach who led both his beloved St Vincent's and Dublin to All-Ireland titles at a point in most men's life when comfortable slippers and a good episode of Nationwide are far more appealing pursuits.

But on Sunday, 14 years after effectively being run out of the Dublin manager's job, he had his day.

"I never doubted myself," he told the Herald in the aftermath of his finest hour.

"Once Pat (Gilroy) was taking the job and wanted me on board, I was delighted to go with him.

"It's a great feeling and it's good to win it well. I think we deserved to win it. They came back at us. We went to three or four points down. But this team just have loads of mental fortitude and came back at them again and did the job.

"Kerry have beaten Dublin a lot of times in championship. But the last one is the one that counts. We needed to do this one today and I think we did a very good job."



Leaders

Whelan is a close confidante of Kevin Heffernan, the man who famously reckoned an All-Ireland title won at Kerry's expense was worth two. Does he subscribe to the same theory?

"This is the bottom line. Kerry are the football leaders in the country. So if you beat them, you deserve an All-Ireland.

"And if you beat a good Kerry team, you really deserve it and if you beat one that had one hand on the trophy and you show the bottle to come back, then you're really deserving All-Ireland champions.

How then does steering Dublin to an All-Ireland compare with doing the same with St Vincent's?

"That win was a great win and it was a great voyage," he offered.

"This was a great voyage too.

"So either I'm very lucky or I'm doing something right."

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