'Emotionally it's very difficu...

Soccer

'Emotionally it's very difficult' - Jim Gavin talks selection struggles

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

02:24 11 Aug 2019


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A 10 point win over Mayo on Saturday evening has Jim Gavin's Dublin side just 70 minutes away from creating history. 

In what has been described as the greatest quarter of football ever produced by any side, Dublin managed to go from two points down to 10 points up in a matter of minutes after half-time.

The Boys in Blue showed a phenomenal intensity after the break, scoring 2-6 without reply from Mayo.

It left people wondering had Jim Gavin left any paint on the walls in the dressing room?

What was said to them?

How did he envoke such a ferocious intensity out of them?

He spoke to Off the Ball's Maire Treasa Ni Cheallaigh at full time.

"You saw what a class side Mayo are, particularly in the first half, it was nip and tuck.

"They went in two points ahead but it could have went either way.

"Both sets of supporters will be proud of their teams today, they left everything on the field of play.

"Our guys got stuck in there, at half-time we spoke to them about executing the skills of the game.

"Their hand-passing, kick-passing, the high fielding was really good quality in the opening part of the second half.

"Our defending was very disciplined, we've done a lot of work on the technical aspects of that skill and that showed out their today - some great turn-overs.

"We kept asking them to keep doing what they're doing, we empower these players to do what they're doing.

"This is a player-driven football team."

It may be a player-driven ethos in the dressing room but the book stops with Gavin.

He calls the shots and has to make tough calls at times.

There has been much talk of the lack of room for sentiment in this Dublin set-up.

His lack of emotion on the sideline, leaving household names out of squads, replacing players after mistakes in games.

He's spoken about the tough reality of picking a match-day squad, particularly the omission of Bernard Brogan from the 26 on Saturday after his impressive performance against Tyrone last week.

"Emotionally it's difficult; it really is. It's probably the most difficult part of the week: having those conversations.

"You see the commitment, the self-sacrifice, the determination, what they go through.

"By the rules of the game, you can only select 26 to be on the match-day program. Everybody has volunteered their time, I don't believe that's right but maybe that's for a different day.

"When you're telling that player that he can't travel to the game and he's prepared as hard as the player's who got the privilege to represent Dublin today. That's not a nice thing but that's team sport.

"Those guys who are on the pitch do really do understand the privileged position they're in and that does drive them as well to try and honor the player who isn't as best they can."

Jim Gavin has three weeks now to think about his selection before the 2019 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.

26 players will get the opportunity to write history as his side attempt to go where no one has ever gone before and climb the steps of the Hogan Stand for a fifth consecutive year.

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