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Gavin reveals he has not watched Mayo semi win

By Declan Bogue

Published 29/08/2016

Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny and James McCarthy celebrate
Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny and James McCarthy celebrate

For seasoned members of the Gaelic Games press pack, Dublin manager Jim Gavin might just be a phenomenon.

As a manager, he is cold, methodical, successful and completely driven. He makes no secret that he feels in a privileged position to be doing the job and he talks about respect and tradition.

But boy, can he fill a dictaphone with sanitised content.

He checks the boxes, stating: "It is an outstanding Kerry team, an outstanding Kerry management team. We have huge, huge admiration for them up in Dublin. That game could have went either way... a bounce of the ball…

"It ran for them in the first half, if it ran for them again, the result could have been different. But it was a fantastic test from a team that play similar to ourselves, they play football and all the skills were demonstrated today. The physicality, some great fielding, kick-passing, scores kicked and great goals."

And adds: "Two sets of players, for amateur players, to be putting the bodies on the line was a great testament to the great spirit in our games and I think we have one of the great field sports. It was shown out there today."

When he does become interesting, is when he says he never watched last week's other semi-final, and Mayo's win over Tipperary.

"Didn't see it," he deadpans.

"I was focused on the Kerry challenge. I had absolutely no business but to be focused on the game today. As I said we will do our workshop from this game, do what we can from it and in a couple of days time focus on them and see what we can do to get a performance."

As for the challenge on Peter Crowley, he instead gave a description of Kerry's second goal and that he had no problem with it.

They now go into the All-Ireland final as warmest of favourites, something he explains is: "That is just noise outside the group. Going in to this game it is all about what we can control.

"The narrative outside of that, people's opinions, what you write, that's what they are, experts opinions on the game, albeit opinions nonetheless. They have absolutely no influence as to how we approach our game."

There must be other men as single-minded and focused as Jim Gavin in the world.

"I have been given a very privileged position by the county board and my management group to be the best they can and part of that process is in the present and in the here and now and taking it one step at a time.

"And whatever narrative is outside of that it is of absolutely no interest to me," he finishes.

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