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Gavin primed to take over reins

JIM GAVIN is set to accept a three-year term as Dublin manager at tonight's county board meeting in Parnell Park while Anthony Daly will be up for a one-year extension to his tenure as hurling boss.

Gavin was considered the outstanding candidate immediately after Pat Gilroy's resignation on September 5 and since being interviewed by Dublin county board officers in recent weeks has been formulating a backroom team.

Barring a major shock, he will be ratified tonight and unveiled as Gilroy's successor at a press conference this Wednesday.

Former Dublin goalkeeper Davy Byrne will be involved as goalkeeping coach and it is expected that so too will another of Gavin's former team-mates and under-21 selectors, Declan Darcy.

Speculation also suggests that David Hickey, a selector under Gilroy for the past two seasons, could remain on to join Gavin's backroom staff.

Hurling boss Daly, meanwhile, insists he "never really had any doubt" over his own position, despite intense speculation that he had been considering not seeking re-appointment after this year's disappoinments.

His team slumped out of the Championship to Clare in Ennis at the start of July and only recently, has Daly informed the county board that he wants to remain at the helm but the Clareman explained he wanted to meet with the squad, a significant number of whom were in America for a large chunk of the past two months, before making the commitment.

"There was a lot of the players away and I wanted the players to have a bit of a chat themselves and to see whether they could rediscover the hunger and that sort of thing and get back to where we were last year," Daly told the Herald. "They had that chat and we had a good meeting then and we wanted to weigh up our options and see what way we'd go, but I was quite happy to continue."

Daly added that he felt that there was unfinished business on his part after a season when Dublin surrendered their Division 1A league status and suffered bad defeats to Kilkenny and Clare in the Championship.

"I think there is way more in the boys," he insisted. "I never really had any doubt. I wasn't going to finish up with Dublin the way it did in Ennis that night. We wanted to get back and have another go at it and whatever next year brings, we wanted to give it another crack.

"And the players are of the same mind.

"You had the two club semi-finals over the weekend and a unique final between Crokes and Cuala and it's great. It's great to see a change. The 'Boden lads have had a rest and hopefully, everyone will come back reinvigorated and give it a real go next year and hit the ground running."

Daly also revealed that Ciarán Kilkenny had indicated that he would play both football and hurling for Dublin next year but like Gavin, is now counting the loss of the Castleknock man to AFL club, Hawthorn.

"Ciarán Kilkenny is a blow to us as well because we were very hopeful that he would try and play hurling as well as football," Daly explained. "We tried to get him on board last year and it didn't just work out but it looked like he was going to do both next year."