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Dublin facing a major test in bid to find successor to legend Gavin

 

Tall order: Dublin are on the lookout to replace manager Jim Gavin
Tall order: Dublin are on the lookout to replace manager Jim Gavin
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Just how do you go about replacing a legend?

That's the poser confronting the Dublin county board as they set in train plans to seek a successor to Jim Gavin.

Now that the initial shockwaves following the announcement that the five-time All-Ireland winner was vacating his post have subsided, the task of putting in place a management structure that will seek to replicate the extraordinary high standards Gavin set on all fronts must be confronted.

If there is a feeling of relief in virtually every other county that there might be just the possibility the Dubs could be relieved of the Sam Maguire Cup, then it can be taken for granted that the drive to ensure the most famous trophy in Irish sport remains in its current habitat will be unrelenting.

Gavin's phenomenal achievements have seen him scale a new peak in managerial terms and even those who are thought to be among the frontrunners to step into his shoes - former boss Pat Gilroy and ex-player Dessie Farrell among them - will undoubtedly view the role with some trepidation.

Underpinning Gavin's success was his ability to tweak his side on an ongoing basis with Brian Howard and Eoin Murchan the two latest recruits to offer glowing proof of their manager's inherent ability to spot and mature talented players.

In masterminding six All-Ireland triumphs in seven years, Gavin not only fashioned Dublin's protracted tenure at the top but also played a key role in the recent evolution of Gaelic football.

It can be taken for granted that no managerial appointment in the recent history of the GAA will be followed with greater interest, indeed awe, than that which will be shown in Dublin's quest to unveil Gavin's successor.

Under his baton Dublin were deemed invincible - such are the pressures associated with the job, indeed, that the challenge of maintaining this status should really come with a health warning.

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