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Dubs need Gilroy, insists Nolan

AS all of Dublin awaits the next movements of Pat Gilroy, the Man of the Match in the All-Ireland final has become the latest player to urge him to go again for another term as manager.

"I'd love for Pat to stay on for what he's done," said Kevin Nolan yesterday at Faugh's for the launch of the AIB club championship, before adding the customary: "But it's his own decision.

"The situation he's in, he has young kids and a young family and work as well. It is a huge commitment to take part in, to manage a team."

Gilroy has kicked to touch on the subject in his most recent public statements and the official Dublin County Board line is that he has been given time and space to consider the prospect of staying on to retain Sam Maguire and is currently in the process of doing so.

The more pessimistic whispers in the corridors of power in Dublin contend that the St Vincent's man will walk away on the ultimate high and that the rigours of identifying and appointing his successor is only weeks away.

Nolan, for one, insisted that he "loved playing under" Gilroy over the past three seasons "because you know what you get from him. Everyone goes out to play for the team.

"I'm sure a few years ago all the critics would have been saying, 'Is he up to it?'," he added.

"And losing against Kerry (in 2009), to have that nerve to come back and to adjust things and change things around ... there were high-profile names that were left on the bench and cut from the panel and things like that and he wasn't afraid to make those decisions."

Gilroy's last public utterance on the subject was on 'The Late Late Show' two Fridays back when the tone of his response to Ryan Tubridy's gentle probing led many to surmise that he considered his job done.

For what it's worth, Nolan reckons the greatest trick he ever pulled was making the squad themselves take ownership for their own fate.

"I think what they were trying to do was facilitate us in a way so that it's the team that are running it in a way that we're responsible for our own actions," explained the Kilmacud Crokes ace, who had more reasons than most to bask in the glow of the All-Ireland final drama.

Beside ending up with the 'The Sunday Game's' official Man of the Match gong, he also christened the occasion of the biggest game of his life by kicking his first championship point -- a belter from 45 metres at a time when Dublin most needed it.


"When I first got the ball I thought, 'where's Bernard Brogan?'," he joked. "I scored a point against Cork in the league final from around that position.

"Against Cork, I looked up and there was no one to pass it to so I said I'd swing a leg at it, but against Kerry there was space and the only thought was to kick it over the bar. There was no, 'who will I give it to?'. I was confident in it."

For Nolan, winning Sam Maguire was also something of a therapeutic experience. He was close to signing professional forms for both Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City but declined a second trial at the latter to line out for Dublin in a Leinster minor league game.

Now a PE teacher in Adamstown Community College, he has settled for the life of an elite amateur athlete and his accumulation of a hefty stack of major medals over the past two years has cured his bout of the, 'what might-have beens?'.

"There were regrets. I won't lie," he admitted.

"There were regrets that I didn't go over and actually try it and there were thoughts a few years ago of actually going back and playing a bit (of soccer) in Ireland.


"But with everything that's happened with the club and with the college as well -- I won the Sigerson, the (All-Ireland) club, the county all in a few years, so it's been a nice few years for me.

"I'd much rather that than to be playing soccer at the minute," he concluded. "I have no regrets any more."