Sunday 15 September 2019

Bohan hails Gavin as greatest ever ahead of Dubs' date with destiny

Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan. Photo: Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan has heralded Jim Gavin as the greatest manager the game has seen as the Blues gear up for a fifth All-Ireland men's title in a row tomorrow.

Bohan will manage the Dublin ladies in their sixth consecutive All-Ireland final in Sunday's decider against Galway and having previously worked in Jim Gavin's backroom team as a skills coach, he feels Gavin's influence has yet to be fully appreciated.

"I'm not being disrespectful to anyone else here, but I certainly know in my time in football I've never met anybody like him.

"We talk about the team being relentless, well he's relentless. The city certainly owes him a whole heap after what he has done, regardless of whether he is successful on Saturday.

"I obviously hope they would be because it would be a testament to what I see as the greatest manager of all time."

Bohan believes Gavin's influence will only truly be felt after he departs.

"He'll be a bigger loss than any one player. We've talked about the influence of the likes of (Stephen) Cluxton and all of that, but Jim's influence on the group and the people that have worked under him has been immense.

"I don't know if he'll continue on but it would possibly be an Alex Ferguson situation where we won't see the same again."

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Gavin extended his contract last year to run up until the end of the 2021 season but Bohan believes the sacrifices involved could see him depart before then.

"He has a family (so) I'd say there's a bit of a contract at home as well. What's his life for the last seven years? What has he done outside of his work and football? How has his family suffered on the basis of how Dublin has benefited?

"It's only when he goes we'll see the work he really did because it won't be that dominance again."

Bohan will not be in Croke Park tomorrow as he keeps his focus trained on the ladies' decider.

"With all due respect to them we have our own job to do on Sunday, but we're very proud of them and I have no doubt they'll be here on Sunday to support us."

He expects to see a resurgent effort from the Dubs in the replay.

"I think Dublin are the better team. I think six or seven of their players definitely underperformed (in the first game) but we have the two best teams in the country playing.

"I'm looking forward to sitting at home chilling out and watching a fantastic game of football."

Having worked with the likes of Jonny Cooper, James McCarthy and Dean Rock during his time with the men's team, Bohan says he has come to view them 'like sons' and he was relieved the previous game ended in a draw, given Cooper was dismissed for a second yellow card shortly before half-time.

"I'd be an advocate for the sin-bin in the men's game," said Bohan.

"The weight on (Cooper's) shoulders for the next 50 years (if) Dublin were to lose that. A sin-bin would have done, wouldn't it?

"You'd have to say Clifford was clever in the way he drew the fouls, and Jonny on a one-on-one is probably the best man-marker we have.

"The likes of (Brian) Fenton, Con (O'Callaghan), (Paul) Mannion, they didn't perform to the levels we've seen before but Kerry had five or six players that were outstanding.

"David Moran was incredible in the middle of the park, but, isn't this what we want?

"When you talk about our game being played the way we want it, that's exactly the way we saw it."

Irish Independent

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