Farrell to lead Dublin’s search for six

Dessie Farrell has been handed the reins of Dublin senior football after they were given back by Jim Gavin last Saturday week.

Farrell to lead Dublin’s search for six

Dessie Farrell has been handed the reins of Dublin senior football after they were given back by Jim Gavin last Saturday week.

Following a sub-committee meeting, the Na Fianna man was announced as Gavin’s successor for the next three years shortly into last night’s annual convention in Parnell Park.

He is to reveal his management and backroom team in the coming weeks.

Farrell, 48, guided Dublin to All-Ireland U21 titles in 2014 and 2017 having led the minors to similar success in 2012, a season after they were surprised by Tipperary in the previous year’s final.

His first season as U21 manager also ended with a shock defeat to Longford.

The former Gaelic Players Association chief executive, an All-Ireland SFC winner in 1995, has managed several of the glittering 2019 panel including Ciarán Kilkenny, Jack McCaffrey, and Paul Mannion.

Before announcing Farrell, outgoing chairman Seán Shanley joked that there had been “cheering” in Mayo and Kerry with the news that Gavin had stepped down having led Dublin to the previously elusive five-in-a-row.

Farrell will now step down as manager of his club’s senior team having taken over this past season — they lost out to would-be champions and Leinster winners Ballyboden St Enda’s in a dramatic quarter-final.

Meanwhile, the Dublin County Board reported a profit of €970,804 for 2019 with commercial income jumping from €1,553,394 to €2,355,250, non-national sponsorship jumping from €1.378m to €2.17m.

Just €125,662 was taken in from club championship receipts, a drop from €201,757 in 2018, although this year’s figure didn’t include the senior football championship final, which fell in November outside of the accounting year, and €502,066 worth of season tickets.

Team administration expenses rose slightly from €1.365m to €1.37m while administration expenses increased from €1.456m to almost €1.525m.

Mick Seevers was last night ratified as Dublin chairman after Shanley had completed his five years of office.

Elsewhere, Gaelic football must embrace change and choose either redrawing the provinces or moving the League into the summer as part of the Championship, says former Football Review Committee (FRC) member John Tobin.

It’s six years this week that the FRC proposed four provincial conferences of eight teams.

Led by the late Eugene McGee, the body recommended the losers of the Ulster preliminary round would go into Connacht along with one of the three teams beaten in the preliminary round of Leinster with the other two joining Munster.

League places would determine who would comprise the preliminary round teams.

That followed GAA president Christy Cooney’s remarks at Annual Congress in 2011 when he remarked said that for the betterment of the organisation and competition structures the “ancient geographical borders” might have to be replaced by a realignment of “our provinces along more practical lines”.

Last week, the current fixtures review taskforce revealed a similar mechanism to the FRC’s provincial plan only they did not stipulate what had to be done to redraw the four.

They proposed each provincial conference would be split into two groups of four with the top team in each going through to the provincial final and the second and third-placed teams entering the qualifiers.

Along with the league becoming part of the Championship, it is one of the two radical options proposed by the fixtures taskforce, the other being a more conservative tweaking of the current scheduling of the Championships.

Although he has a preference for the 4x8 model, former Connacht games manager Tobin would be pleased to see either of the thought-provoking proposals introduced.

“At the time of the FRC, we canvassed a number of inter-county players and a lot of them were very much in favour of retaining the provincial championships.

I’m not sure if that’s the same now but winning one was the aspiration of many players and you see the euphoria when a team that is not expected to win one does.

“What was also taken into consideration at the time was what was ideal and what was possible.

"Retaining the provincial championships was the possible but how could you have equity between provinces that were of different sizes and how were you going to align fixtures?

“The four eights provided equity but it also allowed for the second tier to be played in an aligned fashion and you would also be making more time available for clubs.

“We were concerned that people might not want to move province. Obviously, there’s a cultural significance to playing in your own province so we were suggesting you could avoid not being included in it by winning a game.

"We saw that as a means of circumventing opposition to the reframing of the provinces.”

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