Sunday 30 April 2017

Resilient Dublin will bounce back - Gavin

Dublin manager Jim Gavin and goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton watch the cup presentation following the Allianz Football League Division 1 Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin and goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton watch the cup presentation following the Allianz Football League Division 1 Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

An unusual feeling, but Jim Gavin was his usual immovable self in his post-match press conference in the bowels of the Hogan Stand.

It's more than two years since he addressed the media as a defeated manager, but nothing in his demeanour changed.

There would be no grandstanding here, no forensic analysis of how the Dublin ship was eventually sunk.

And there would certainly be no insight to his feelings on the fractious pre-match build-up that saw Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice outline examples of what he saw as Dublin's "hard edge".

"Every manager is doing the right thing for his team and if you're putting me on the spot to try and talk ill about Eamonn Fitzmaurice, I certainly ain't going to do it," Gavin said.

"I have nothing but the height of regard for Eamonn and he's an absolute gentleman. I certainly won't be speaking ill, if that's what you're trying to get me to do.

"In terms of the county of Kerry, I have nothing but admiration and warmth for that county and I certainly won't be speaking ill of any Kerry player or this Kerry team."

He also insisted that any comments in the media attributed to former Dublin players have no influence on his team.

Read more: 'It's ultimately my responsibility' - Jim Gavin blames team selection for Dublin loss against Kerry

"They're opinions. I don't know if he (Paul Curran) wrote an article or whatever it was. Whoever speaks on behalf of the team isn't speaking for the team. The people that speak are the players on the pitch. Once they cross the white lines, it's 15 on 15.

"Really, if people know their football and how team dynamics work, they've absolutely no relevance to what goes on. None. It's just background noise."

Gavin admitted he thought his side were going to pull the game from the fire, as they have done so many times this year.

"We were five points down against a fantastic Kerry team who set themselves up very well. We got a goal and could have got another one or two, it just slipped past us. One of the boys went down in the box and didn't get the free, but sure, listen, these things happen in games.

"But they kept going at it, they're very ambitious and they kept on trying to score. One or two calls in the middle went, but that's just the nature of it.

"I can only commend the effort of the Dublin players once again. Their selflessness and discipline preparing for this game was outstanding. They'll take a lot from today, as we took a lot from the last time we played Kerry in Tralee, it was a fantastic game.

"We've got a lot from the league, we were the last team to come back in late January. To find ourselves in a National League final is a bonus. Of course we wanted to win today, but it didn't happen and we have to reflect on those reasons and ultimately that's my responsibility."

However, he expects his side to learn from the experience.

"They're a resilient bunch, there's no doubt. They'll come back as strong as ever."

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport