Despite winning his sixth All-Ireland title as a manager and guiding Dublin to the GAA’s first-ever five-in-a-row, Jim Gavin has no plans of stepping down just yet.
Dublin put in a swashbuckling second-half performance to defeat Kerry by six points in Saturday’s replay. A visibly delighted Gavin addressed the media following that win and the question on everybody’s lips was whether or not we should expect a plethora of retirements following this history-making win.
When asked if he expected the elder statesmen of the team to remain part of the panel, Gavin said he sees no reason why they wouldn’t.
“I don’t see any reason why not to. These are all players’ choices. We set into the campaign next year, and you’re excited to see some of the talent that’s coming around the corner.
“But each player needs to in the off-season make those choices, because it is a big commitment. I’m not saying it’s any different to any other sport. People at that tier one level, be that athletics or whatever, they all have to commit time. But they’re choices that people decide to make for their love of whatever sport it is.”
When asked whether completing the five-in-a-row felt like a natural ending for many, Gavin could only speak on behalf of himself. The Dublin manager was adamant that it didn’t feel like the end for himself.
“I can’t say it does for me now but the great thing about our squad is that they are all individuals, you want guys to express their individuality, we embrace diversity. They all come from different backgrounds and they have different challenges in their life, their careers are at different progressions so you try to help them along the way.
“To be able to athletically live a life, it’s 24/7, the right food choices, the right sleep, the extra bit of training, like anyone that’s in that type of sports arena, it could be soccer or any other sport, you have to dedicate your life to it so there’s a lot at stake but again they are choices for the players.”
Gavin confirmed that he has already committed to remain as Dublin manager for 2020.
“You’re just in a privileged position to work with players that are so dedicated to their sport. I have it easy.
“Club managers have it difficult sending texts around to training, inter-county managers don’t do that, people turn up and you have a full complement for every training. You’re excited today and excited to look on the horizon but that’s probably for another day, I’m not going to get into it now.
“I’ll sit down with the county board and obviously review it, I’ve a profession outside of this role that I’ve been asked to do for Dublin GAA and then obviously I’ve family commitments as well and it all goes into the mix but now isn’t the time to be… I have committed to next year so we’ll reflect on it in a couple of weeks’ time.”