Wednesday 13 December 2017

Whelan hopeful Gilroy will decide to stay on

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

MICKEY Whelan has backed Pat Gilroy to continue as Dublin manager, as long as his family life allows him the time.

There are growing fears in the capital that the St Vincent's man might follow the lead of the last manager to bring Sam Maguire to Dublin, Dr Pat O'Neill, who resigned after the 1995 victory.

And selector Whelan -- himself a former manager -- knows the demands placed on the shoulders of the county boss.

Gilroy has a year remaining on his term, but with four small children and his job as managing director of Dalkia, the demands on his time are extreme.

While he believes the management team will leave behind a structure built for success when they do decide to call it a day, Whelan wants Gilroy to stay, but only on his own terms.

"Pat Gilroy is a great manager who is doing a great job," he said.

"If he can afford the time it would be great for the game in Dublin. He's a young manager who has acquired a great deal of experience in the game so he has all the pre-requisites for it.

"Even if he was to go, the structure is there for someone to take it on. Jobs are jobs. In the final analysis, family are what you want to be aware of. He's a great father, a great parent and his wife Yvonne is a superb person. They need to sit down and decide what they want to do in their own time."

Whelan believes the work of the management team and within the county in general means Dublin should not have to wait another 16 years for Sam Maguire.

"It's the end of 16 years' work to get back to the top; it was a slow process and let's hope it won't be as long again," he said.

"There's a great structure in place, a good team, a young team and you just need to keep adding one or two players a year now.

"Even Kerry, who are a phenomenal team and a great county for producing All-Ireland winners, went through a lean period. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anybody."

Irish Independent

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