Back-to-back All-Ireland winning Dublin ladies manager Mick Bohan admits he’s blown away by the forensic attention to detail of his football counterpart Jim Gavin.
Bohan was Gavin’s skills coach for All-Ireland U21 (2010) and senior (2013) wins before working with Clare in 2016 and then taking on the Dublin ladies role.
He’s viewed as a potential successor to Gavin whenever the Clondalkin man steps down, though Dublin GAA yesterday confirmed that won’t be until the end of the 2021 season at least.
But Bohan said there is ‘not a chance’ of him ever taking on the job because he has witnessed first hand the great lengths Gavin has privately gone to in order to achieve success.
“Mark these words, I’ll tell you one thing, at that level, not a chance, I could not do it,” said Bohan.
“I don’t know how he does it. I still look back to the times when I was involved with him. I’d look at the email in the morning and see one from him, ‘2.38am’.
"Then you’d respond and the email would be back from him within half an hour. And you’d be thinking, ‘When does he sleep? Where does the sleep process fit in?
“My job now is completely different to his. I happen to be managing the women’s team but my forte is coaching and I don’t pretend to be anything else.
“Obviously I don’t have the same demands, I don’t have to deal with the same number of things that he has to deal with. It’s just not the same.
“Even from the point of fundraising, and I know Jim has everyone in situ for various jobs, he has people at different levels doing things but he manages the managers of those things.
Bohan, speaking at the launch of the GAA’s new online learning portal for the Leaving Cert PE course, said that while Dublin have an ultra talented core of players, the most important piece of their jigsaw is undoubtedly Gavin.
“He has been absolutely instrumental in all of this,” said Bohan. “In 16 years that I’m involved in Dublin football, between development squads, minor, U21 and senior teams, nobody I have come across has the drive or the systematic approach that he brings. It’s just incredible. And he never wavers.
“Through the years, people talk about ‘Clucko, Clucko...’ And Clucko is so important to them but my question is always how long is Jim going to give? Because whoever comes in has an incredible pair of shoes to fill.”
The Dublin County Board yesterday confirmed the five-time All-Ireland-winning boss has agreed to another two seasons as manager, having last year shook hands on a deal to bring him up to and including the 2019 Championship.
It’s a further endorsement of the 47-year-old who took over from Pat Gilroy in October 2012 on a three-year term before being offered a two-year extension in November 2014, which was revealed the following May. Another two-year agreement was confirmed in May of last year.
News of the latest deal was confirmed on Dublin’s official website yesterday.
County chairman Seán Shanley reacted: “Jim has contributed so much time and hard work on a voluntary basis to the Dublin team and I thank him and his backroom team for their continued efforts and dedication.”
With 11 seasons in charge between 1974 and ‘76 and between 1979 and ‘86, Kevin Heffernan remains the Dublin senior footballers’ longest-serving manager. Should Gavin serve until 2021, he will have completed nine seasons at the helm.
Gavin will be on the line for the Dubs Stars game this Saturday before the 2017 All-Ireland-winning team and management head on a team holiday shortly after Christmas, a Caribbean cruise.