John Fog­a­rty

Irish Examiner - Sport - - ALL-IRELAND SFC FINAL -

Email: john.fog­a­rty@ex­am­

Those hop­ing that Fer­gus Con­nolly, who worked with Jim Gavin in 2013, pro­vides some in­sight into his time with Dublin’s foot­baller in his re­cently pub­lished book, Game Changer — The Art of Sports Science, will be left dis­ap­pointed. The only men­tion of Dublin is in an Ir­ish fa­ble quoted by Con­nolly.

That’s not sur­pris­ing given it’s a read aimed at the Amer­i­can mar­ket and that’s not to say that the book isn’t a good read — the Mon­aghan­born sports per­for­mance con­sul­tant has com­piled a ver­i­ta­ble trea­sure trove of use­ful in­for­ma­tion on achiev­ing suc­cess.

It’s easy to see why Gavin was keen to re­cruit his ser­vices when so much of what he preaches would res­onate with how the Dublin manager goes about his busi­ness.

Con­nolly doesn’t address the whole sub­ject of siege men­tal­ity but Gavin may pro­vide him with the man­ual af­ter this sea­son as Dublin have never left the war-foot­ing they’ve been on since their first week­end of the cham­pi­onship when Diar­muid Con­nolly pushed lines­man Ciarán Brana­gan in Port­laoise. In the af­ter­math, they re­fused to give a one-on-one in­ter­view to RTÉ and can­celled “walk-up” graph­ics with the na­tional broad­cast­ers. The word is re­la­tions be­tween the two par­ties are still icy.

Nei­ther have Dublin for­got­ten that it was the GAA that handed down the ret­ro­spec­tive ban to Con­nolly. Sup­pos­edly, when the named team was leaked on­line prior to their All-ire­land semi­fi­nal against Ty­rone last month, the All-ire­land cham­pi­ons’ camp were fu­ri­ous and quick to contact Croke Park to com­plain. Re­spon­si­ble for a team of a county that has well and truly re­alised its size and stature, Dublin have a man­age­ment group that haven’t been afraid to throw their weight around. Stay­ing ahead also means stay­ing on top of things.

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