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.