Dublin await the winners of today’s clash between Tyrone and Kerry in this years All-Ireland football final following their ten-point win over Mayo in Croke Park on Saturday.
The five-in-a-row chasing champions were pushed to the pin of their collar by Mayo in the opening half before coming out in the second half and trouncing James Horan’s side with a masterful display of free-flowing football.
There were some big performances for Dublin in the second period, in particular, Paul Mannion and Con O’Callaghan who were unplayable at times. However, much of the talk following the game was about the players not selected in the matchday squad with experienced campaigners; Rory O’Carroll, Bernard Brogan and Eoghan O’Gara left out of the 26-man panel.
Despite their absence and Dublin’s dominant second-half display, Jim Gavin assured the media following the game that the slate is now wiped clean ahead of this years final when Dublin will attempt to create history and become the first team in either football or hurling to complete the five-in-a-row.
“The slate is wiped clean then after today’s performance. The collective group prepare and the collective group get the team ready. Just because players aren’t here on matchday doesn’t mean that they don’t influence teammates, they do.
“It’s just that we can only select 26 to represent the team but make no mistake about it, there are some outstanding leaders who weren’t on the pitch today but are leading in the shadows of this team and we’re really fortunate to be able to have an outstanding group like that who are driven really to just get Dublin to its best.”
As Dublin look towards a fifth straight All-Ireland final, Gavin admitted that the build-up to the game will be fantastic in terms bringing the county of Dublin together.
Gavin claims the expectation from children around the county is a motivational tool for the players who will now go back to celebrate with their clubs and communities over the next few days before joining up with the squad and preparing for yet another All-Ireland final.
“Oh, it’s great, it’s absolutely fantastic to see the energy that will be there. The players are actually driven, they get energy from it, the sea of expectation that kids have, it’s a privilege, you want the kids to get to the games, to do their camogie, do their hurling, do the football and you want to see the excitement in them and for the team that’s a motivating factor.
“That’s who they are doing it for, they are doing it for that collective of Dubin GAA as every county is. In this squad there are over 20 clubs represented and that’s a phenomenal amount and each of those clubs will be talking about their club members being a part of the county panel and that’s the beauty of our games, it’s back to the communities, they’ll reach out at some stage over the next couple of days, back into their club mates and members and that’s the beauty of the GAA.”