Dublin GAA Chief Executive John Costello has hit out at critics of Jim Gavin’s All-Ireland winning side in his annual report, taking aim at those who accused the Dubs of being of being mechanical in victory and lacking personality.
In the report ahead of the Dublin county convention at Parnell Park on December 14th, Costello slams commentators who criticised the four in a row All-Ireland winning side for being too “robotic” and “emotionless.”
“Some of the commentary on our senior footballers and management was eye-catching and I think it would be remiss of me not to let it pass unchallenged,” Costello said.
“Words such as ‘robots, ‘automatons’, ’emotionless’ were used by a small group of commentators to describe our management and players on several occasions this summer.
“Concerned by this matter we undertook an examination of the sum of the parts of all involved and [are] glad to report that no microchips, levers, wires, transistors, relays etc were discovered! However, I can exclusively reveal that Paul Mannion and Jack McCaffrey do have a sixth gear!
“On a more serious note, I am not sure what purpose this fulfils for some commentators. When we were less successful, we were ridiculed for being too showy etc – now it’s the opposite.”
Costello also appeared to compare the way Jim Gavin and Dublin go about their business, to the much more outspoken and animated Premier League managers Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp,
“Perhaps Jim Gavin should run up and down the sideline during games gesturing to the crowd or throwing water bottles around to show his ‘passion’ or a senior ranking county board official should run to Hill 16 after some victory and throw their tie into the famous terrace?”
The chief executive also goes into detail on the idea that the Dublin senior team benefits more than it should, claiming that as a “crude accusation used to devalue the achievements of Dublin’s senior footballers this decade.”
“The subject of Dublin’s games development grants is another crude device used by some to try and devalue the achievements of Dublin’s senior footballers this decade, those who want to engage in some alt-history of this decade.
“The money Dublin has received has been invested in our Games Development programme solely at nursery and juvenile level. Our Go Games programme alone, over the last 10 years, has seen a participation growth of 58 per cent in football and 98 per cent in hurling and 11,500 fixtures scheduled annually for children in the Under 8 to Under-12 age groups.
“Massive numbers attend nurseries the length and breadth of the county on a weekly basis. The focus is on enjoyment, fun and introducing young boys and girls to Gaelic games and their local clubs, while also trying to strengthen the link between the local primary schools and the clubs. Many stay and enjoy great years with their local club, while others, unfortunately, are lost to the game, concentrating eventually on other pursuits.
“However, to draw a simple straight line, some linear equation, directly connecting this investment at nursery/juvenile level and the success of Dublin’s senior footballers years later is inaccurate.
“I have read articles using the figures of adult players in the capital to suggest that the grants have been invested in our adult games and indeed directly towards our senior footballers and hurlers. This is untrue and at best is mischievous.”