Thursday 23 November 2017

'It was something different we went for' - Jim Gavin explains thinking behind surprise selection decision

17 September 2017; Eoghan O'Gara of Dublin in action against Brendan Harrison of Mayo during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
17 September 2017; Eoghan O'Gara of Dublin in action against Brendan Harrison of Mayo during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jim Gavin made one change to the Dublin team named to start yesterday's All-Ireland final win over Mayo, throwing Eoghan O'Gara into the full forward line as Niall Scully made way.

The Templeogue Synge Street forward made big impacts off the bench for Dublin throughout the championship, and Gavin rewarded him with a place in the starting team.

However, O'Gara lasted just 35 minutes before being withdrawn - despite kicking a point - and might face retrospective action over allegedly making contact with Colm Boyle's eye.

Speaking to Marty Morrissey on Morning Ireland today, the Dublin manager gave some insights into why he decided to select O'Gara in his starting team for the biggest game of the season, pointing to his training ground performance as what got him in the side.

"It was something different we went for," Gavin said.

"Eoghan has been playing really well in our internal games in training so that was a reflection of what he did. Over the expanse of the game we used a lot of players and the strength of the group is there willingness to do whatever it takes for the team. You could see that in the last quarter of the game when it was there to be won. Eoghan played his part and so did the guys who finished the game."

O'Gara and Paddy Andrews were replaced at the break by Diarmuid Connolly and Kevin McManamon, who both kicked crucial scores as Dublin edged Mayo at the death by 1-17 to 1-16.

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