Dublin be­gan the process of re­plac­ing former se­nior foot­ball man­ager Jim Gavin last night:

Gil­roy and Far­rell re­main top of the list of pos­si­ble replacemen­ts

The Irish Times - - Front Page - Ian O’Rior­dan Re­ports

The Dublin County Board re­main in­tent on ap­point­ing a re­place­ment for se­nior foot­ball man­ager Jim Gavin with the same swift­ness of de­ci­sion which marked his de­par­ture.

How­ever, there has been some in­de­ci­sion around ex­actly when that process be­gan, county chair­man Seán Shan­ley in­sist­ing no dis­cus­sion – in­for­mal or oth­er­wise – had taken place ahead of last night’s pre­vi­ously sched­uled meet­ing of the Dublin man­age­ment com­mit­tee.

Without any warn­ing, Gavin stepped down on Satur­day morn­ing af­ter seven sea­sons in charge. Among those con­sid­ered to be in con­tention is his pre­de­ces­sor Pat Gil­roy, the St Vin­cent’s club­man who man­aged Dublin from 2009 to 2012, de­liv­er­ing their first All-Ire­land in 16 years in 2011.

The pur­pose of last night’s meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to Shan­ley, was to be­gin that process; man­age­ment com­mit­tee would get per­mis­sion from the county com­mit­tee to seek a new man­ager, and with that al­low three of the man­age­ment com­mit­tee “to talk to the in­di­vid­ual peo­ple, see who is in­ter­ested and get their views, who they’d be think­ing of bring­ing in with them”.

How­ever the sug­ges­tion that Gil­roy will be given first re­fusal may be pre­ma­ture.

“There is no truth in that,” said Shan­ley. “We cer­tainly haven’t talked to any­one or even dis­cussed it among our­selves. Tonight’s man­age­ment meet­ing will be the first time it will be dis­cussed.

“We haven’t spo­ken to any­one yet and I don’t know whether Pat’s even in­ter­ested or not, but we will be speak­ing to ev­ery­one that is in­ter­ested.”

Once the man­age­ment com­mit­tee an­nounce their pre­ferred can­di­date, that name must still go be­fore a full meet­ing of the Dublin County Board for fi­nal rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

In his ear­lier state­ment on Satur­day morn­ing, Shan­ley said: “I re­gret his [Gavin’s] de­par­ture but ap­pre­ci­ate the huge sac­ri­fices he has made over this pe­riod. The com­mit­tee will com­mence the process of con­sid­er­ing suit­able can­di­dates to re­place Jim and his man­age­ment team shortly.”

In 2018 Gil­roy re­turned to man­age­ment when he took charge of the Dublin hurlers,

orig­i­nally on a two-year term, be­fore step­ping down af­ter one season, cit­ing work com­mit­ments. It’s not clear if those work com­mit­ments re­main as press­ing. Dessie Far­rell re­mains the other lead­ing con­tender, hav­ing al­ready taken charge of the Dublin mi­nor and un­der-21 foot­ballers in re­cent

years, de­liv­er­ing All-Ire­land ti­tles in both grades, one at mi­nor, two at un­der-21.

In­deed, of the 2019 Dublin se­nior squad, some two-thirds would al­ready have played un­der Far­rell at ei­ther mi­nor or un­der-21 level. Far­rell re­cently com­mit­ted to an­other season as man­ager of his club Na Fianna,

although that’s un­likely to be a ma­jor ob­sta­cle to his po­ten­tial Dublin ap­point­ment.

“We have to talk to all the ones con­cerned,” added Shan­ley. “We’ll get word of who is in­ter­ested and it only takes a phone call then to con­firm if you are in­ter­ested or you’re not in­ter­ested.”

Who­ever does take over from Gavin can look for­ward to an open­ing match of some sig­nif­i­cance, as Dublin have opted out of the up­com­ing O’Byrne cam­paign.

That means their first out­ing in 2020 will be against Kerry in the Al­lianz Na­tional Foot­ball League Divi­sion One – a re­peat of this year’s All-Ire­land SFC fi­nal – un­der lights at Croke Park on Satur­day, Jan­uary 25th.

Gavin, mean­while, is still ex­pected to be in at­ten­dance at the Sig­nify Man­ager of the Year Award cer­e­mony in Dublin on Thurs­day. He re­mains a strong con­tender for one more out­right award to mark his feted Dublin send-off.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: RYAN BYRNE/INPHO

■ Pat Gil­roy and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Dublin County Board John Costello

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