Sunday 22 September 2019

'I'd love to know what goes on behind closed doors' - The Throw-In panel on Dublin's low-key final build-up

Jim Gavin. Photo: Sportsfile
Jim Gavin. Photo: Sportsfile

Tony Considine

While the hype has been ramping in the media and around the country as Dublin ready themselves for their historic five-in-a-row bid, the build-up within the camp has been as low-key as you’d expect from a Jim Gavin team.

It's been the same all summer with even the return of Diarmuid Connolly handled in that same low-key manner with Gavin throwing it in as an aside in an interview on Twitter with DubsTV the morning after the Super 8s win over Cork.

Irish Independent correspondent Michael Verney is certain that Gavin will be keeping a lid on things within the squad dynamic.

However, his own experience within the inter-county bubble - while not comparable with this build-up - gives him an indication that it's not just the communication within the panel that could cause distractions.   

"I'd love to know what goes on behind closed doors. You kind of hear 'that's not something that's talked about in our dressing room' and I'm sure it's not," the ex-Offaly hurler said on The Throw-In All-Ireland final special, brought to you in association with Bord Gáis Energy.

"But I'd love to see what the conversations are like between lads outside of the team situations. Is it ever mentioned in WhatsApp groups?

"Because they have people saying it to them the whole time, course they do. So it’s whether that seeps in at all?

"You'd imagine it would somewhat, they have tried to guard against it as much as possible but you don't know whether you've been able to guard against it until you go out there.

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"If Kerry can kind of bring something we haven't seen, an intensity that Dublin maybe haven't come up against since the ‘17 final. You don't know until 10 or 15 minutes and by the time it's 10 or 15 minutes in it could be too late

"So it will be interesting to watch out for but I don't see it. They're not immune or infallible or anything like that but they're probably the closest thing to it that we've seen in a GAA team."

While Verney is with the bookies in thinking that Sam Maguire is Dublin's to lose, a Kerry win could have a larger impact than just the destination of this year’s Championship.

And he believes that the after-effects of such a Dublin defeat would give the football Championship a serious shot in the arm.

"Offaly beating Kerry in ‘82 made teams realise Kerry could be beaten. They were beaten by Cork in ‘83 and then went and did three-in-a-row but they kind of disappeared for a while after that,” he explained.

"So it only takes a team to fall once for others to believe. There are a couple of teams at the top like Kerry, Donegal, even Tyrone and I know Mayo were beaten but there are teams there that do fancy their chances when they play Dublin.

"I love watching Dublin play football but they would become really interesting if they were beaten and had to prove themselves again.

"It's just a matter of someone actually getting the win over them for others to believe."

Online Editors

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