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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Jim Gavin: 'I certainly won't be speaking ill of any Kerry player or this Kerry team'

The Dublin boss didn’t seek to spark a debate after yesterday’s game.

Éamonn Fitzmaurice and Jim Gavin after yesterday's league final.
Éamonn Fitzmaurice and Jim Gavin after yesterday's league final.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE PRE-MATCH debate to yesterday’s battle in Croke Park may have been sparked by the debate over the physicality of Dublin-Kerry game, but Jim Gavin had no interest in fueling it after the final whistle.

Kerry boss Éamonn Fitzmaurice sought to bring balance to the debate last week but his Dublin counterpart didn’t want to bite back after the final whistle, when pressed for his thoughts on Fitzmaurice’s remarks.

“Every manager is doing the right thing for his team and certainly if you’re putting me on the spot to try and talk ill about Eamonn Fitzmaurice, I certainly ain’t going to do it.

“I have nothing but the height of regard for Éamonn and he’s an absolute gentleman. In terms of the county of Kerry, I have nothing but admiration and warmth for that county.

“I certainly won’t be speaking ill of any Kerry player or this Kerry team. I have nothing but admiration for what they give for their county and for the Gaelic Athletic Association.

“So fantastic performance by Kerry, deserved winners and we’ll move on and I’m sure they will as well.”

Gavin is confident that key defenders missing yesterday will return to the fray in time for Dublin’s summer championship assaults.

“Jonny (Cooper) just rolled his ankle so he’s slowly coming back, John Small will be back – they’ll all be back. It is the National League – it’s the third competition, the next one is the provincial championship and then it’s the All-Ireland series.

“We have eight weeks to go to our provincial championship, that means a lot to us and hopefully we’ll have those players back but who knows we might lose some more in the club championship.”

And Gaivjn is pleased with the progress of some of Dublin’s newcomers to the fray, referencing the development of midfielder Ciarán Reddin.

“I saw him with the O’Byrne Cup team up in Enniscorthy and in Newbridge and Drogheda as well. He played really well in those games and based on that we brought him in, the same with Niall Scully and Conor McHugh.

“Those guys have had a really good National Football League, that’s what it’s about, trying to bring those players on and give them game-time. You can’t just buy that experience.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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