| 24.9°C Dublin

Dubs manager backs 'crucial' coaching fund

JIM GAVIN has politely declined the invitation for a slagging match with Jim McGuinness over his 'Roman Abramovich' depiction of the Dublin footballers - but he has defended the level of funding that goes into the capital's underage coaching structures.

The Donegal boss created a glut of headlines last week by suggesting the divide between Dublin and the rest was becoming "bigger and bigger" and by drawing comparison between their rise to prominence and that of Chelsea when they were taken over by the Russian oligarch, Abramovich.

This was followed by proposals, emanating from Croke Park, to reduce Dublin's level of central funding for its coaching programme next year.

Asked for his take on the debate, Gavin said: "Since the AIG commercial deal it's been quite a passionate topic - even though that is quite a similar package to previous partners that the county board were involved in.

"I think funding for Gaelic games in Dublin is crucial. We've a lot of challenges on our doorstep with other sporting organisations."

He went on: "There definitely is a correlation between full-time coaches and participation levels. The government has recognised that, the Sports Council has recognised that, and I think the GAA do as well.

"The leadership in the GAA would want to be aware of the potential consequences ... if there is reduction in funding, there could be a reduction in participation levels in Dublin."


Stressing the key role of volunteers (senior management included) in the recent success story of football in the capital, Gavin added: "The elite level of the sport is a different dimension but we have big, big challenges in the county of Dublin to attract juveniles in to play our games. There are lots of other sporting organisations looking for the hearts and minds of these kids as well as other outdoor activities and cultural activities in Dublin."