'It is team, team, team' - Jim Gavin credits 'collective ethos' for Dublin's four-in-a-row

'It is team, team, team' - Jim Gavin credits 'collective ethos' for Dublin's four-in-a-row

Devoid of even a flicker of emotion, Jim Gavin carried the persona of a man on a mission, an ultra-ambitious perfectionist with unfinished business to attend to.

He had just guided Dublin to a fourth successive All-Ireland Senior Football title, but it was with the coolest composure that he faced the media underneath the Hogan Stand just a few minutes after Stephen Cluxton had accepted the Sam Maguire Cup for a remarkable fifth time as winning captain.

It’s the ultimate accomplishment in gaelic football, but there was an inescapable feeling in the air that Gavin regarded this latest triumph as much as a means to an end as the remarkable achievement that it was.

Only a fifth straight success would set the Metropolitans apart as the only county to achieve that feat, and the likelihood is that this driven tactician and leader of men will get to work on that particular project first thing Monday morning.

Few would question this great Dublin team’s capacity to script an unprecedented story of success, following their 2-17 to 1-14 win over Tyrone, and Gavin showered all the praise on his outstanding group of players.

“The collective ethos they have, they see the prize serving the county, not the self,” he said.

“You have players there that didn't get game time, they didn't show it, but they must be disappointed not to play in an All-Ireland Final. They just want the team to do well. It is team, team, team and I think they have demonstrated that again.”

Gavin, who also experienced victory over Tyrone in an All-Ireland final as a player, back in 1995, never felt that his team was comfortable until it was all over.

“I wouldn't say we were that (cruising). In a contest and in a final as we have experienced the last number of years when it comes down to the last two teams they are going to give everything.

“No surprise there from Tyrone. They are an outstanding team. My admiration for them went up tenfold after the game.

The way, to a man, unprompted, they stayed on the pitch to see the Dublin guys come down from the Hogan Stand and the respect that they showed to the opposition it is very humbling to see that.

“Going into the game we knew it was going to be a very tough battle, they go 0-5 to 0-1 up, they have the momentum, but our guys don't blink which is a great characteristic to have.

“We just keep going through the phases to get ourselves back in the game. Even at half-time, it is only a break in play, it still needs to be finished, the guys just kept with our process of going through each phase of play. They are going to come back, you see the subs they brought on, they finished with a really strong, offensive, attacking team.”

Tyrone fought to the bitter end, pulling back one goal and pushing relentlessly for a second, but the boys in blue held firm at the Canal End.

Gavin said: “Putting Colm Cavanagh into full forward showed their intent, they really went after it and they left everything on the pitch. I've just left the Dublin dressing room and those guys are completely fatigued after a fantastic battle.

"I'm just really happy for them that they have come out the right side of it. Possibly it could have went the other way in the closing stages, but we did enough to see it out.”

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