GAVIN FAC­ING TOUGH CALLS ON SE­LEC­TION

Fingal Independent - - SPORT - BY RORY KERR

BOSS Jim Gavin be­lieves Dublin’s bid for the three-in-arow, a feat not even achieved by the great Dublin team of the 1970s, is not a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor as they head into Sun­day’s de­cider with Mayo in Croke Park (3.30pm).

Dublin beat Mayo in last year’s epic re­play to achieve back-to-back ti­tles, which they last achieved in 1977.

And while aware that a win at the week­end would el­e­vate this cur­rent team’s sta­tus, the Round Tow­ers Clon­dalkin man was stoic as ever.

‘It is what it is,’ said Gavin in ref­er­ence to the three-in-arow bid, ‘but we have al­ways fo­cused on get­ting the per­for­mance in each of our games.

‘We would never com­pare our­selves with the great Dublin teams of the past. We are just try­ing to add a lit­tle bit to their out­stand­ing legacy and that’s the ge­n­e­sis of all the Dublin foot­ballers.’

It was sug­gested to Gavin that in putting to­gether a squad for Sun­day he would adopt the ‘horses for cour­ses’ ap­proach and choose play­ers well versed in deal­ing with the Mayo chal­lenge.

How­ever, he in­sisted that the work done on the train­ing grounds in the three weeks since Dublin’s semi-final win over Ty­rone will ul­ti­mately shape his think­ing.

‘It’s a blank sheet. The choices the play­ers make and what they bring to each ses­sion will pop­u­late that team sheet of 26 play­ers for the All-ire­land final.

‘There will be some very some tough calls to make when pick­ing the 26 and hope­fully for the man­age­ment team we will get it right.’

To date, Gavin has made some very as­tute calls - most no­tably when spring­ing Cor­mac Costello from the bench in last year’s re­play.

The White­hall Colm­cilles man would re­pay Gavin’s faith with three points off the bench as Dublin blitzed a tir­ing Mayo de­fence in the final 15 min­utes. By con­trast, Mayo boss Stephen Rochford’s de­ci­sion to start with Rob Hen­nelly in place of David Clarke in goal was called into ques­tion, and he raised fur­ther eye­brows in Mayo’s drawn game with Kerry last month when de­cid­ing to drop Ai­dan O’shea back onto Kieran Don­aghy.

But Gavin be­lieves Mayo will pose a very big threat.

‘They can pose threats at many lev­els,’ he said. ‘In the first half against Kerry they had 17 shots and kicked seven, so they prob­a­bly would have been dis­ap­pointed with that, but they’ve been rack­ing up big scores and look­ing very im­pres­sive.’

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