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'It was best to allow the team the space to grow again' - Gavin reveals reasons for Dublin exit

The former Dublin manager was speaking after being named Signify Sports Manager of the Year 2019.

Signify Sports Manager of the Year, Jim Gavin
Signify Sports Manager of the Year, Jim Gavin
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

JIM GAVIN HAS opened up on the thought process that led to him stepping down as Dublin manager following a glittering seven year spell in charge of the county’s footballers.

Dublin announced Gavin’s decision to step down last weekend, almost three months on from leading the team to a historic fifth consecutive All-Ireland title.

Speaking at the Signify Sports Manager of the Year awards, Gavin explained why he felt it was the right time to walk away.

“After every campaign, after every championship run, you have to reflect upon the season that is gone,” Gavin said.

“I took that time to deliberate on what is best for my family, for my work and obviously the football team as well. The conclusion I came up with at the end was that what was best to allow the team the space to grow again was for me to simply hand the reins on again.”

Gavin said that while he is content with his decision, he will miss being involved.

“Yeah it was [difficult], absolutely. I have been involved for 12 years as a manager of Dublin football teams, be it U21 or senior level, so absolutely. It has been a massive part of my life. I have loved every moment of it. I had a great journey, great times, worked with a phenomenal and exceptional group of players.

des-cahill-speaks-with-jim-gavin-after-he-won-the-manager-of-the-year-award MC Des Cahill speaks with former Dublin manager Jim Gavin. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“I’m just really honoured to be able to share my coaching and managerial journey. I have been surrounded by a great management team, a fantastic backroom team who have really supported me really, really well, and create that environment to let the players be their best. 

“I’m honoured to hand it over to someone else.”

Dublin are expected to name Gavin’s successor next week. Former Dublin manager Pat Gilroy and U20 manager Dessie Farrell are among the favourites to take the reins.

Reflecting on his time in charge, Gavin said he leaves the position with no regrets.

“I had no issue giving the time I gave,” he said.

“One’s life is defined by the choices you make. I have a very busy profession in aviation. Some might see it as a job, I just love what I do in that particular discipline. I volunteered my time. I put my name forward [for the Dublin job], thankfully I was selected many years ago by the panel, and I’m really proud of being involved with it.

“I won’t have any regrets, that is for sure. I gave it my all for as long as I could. I’m just really excited for 2020 and excited for the team and to see what will happen with them.”

Gavin was named Signify Sports Manager of the Year 2019 following Dublin’s history making season, taking the award ahead of 11 other monthly winners.

“This award really is for the players,” Gavin added.

“They held strong during the replay match to deliver a result to make me and the fans proud. An amazing year for the team, all topped by the Signify Sports Manager of the Year 2019 trophy.”

- This piece was originally published at 4.19pm.

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