Barney Rock: Give Dessie Farrell time to make mark with Dubs

Dublin legend Barney Rock says Dessie Farrell must be given a chance to bed in as Jim Gavin’s replacement.
Barney Rock: Give Dessie Farrell time to make mark with Dubs

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 5 match between Tyrone and Dublin at Healy Park in Omagh, Tyrone. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Dessie Farrell during the Allianz Football League Division 1 Round 5 match between Tyrone and Dublin at Healy Park in Omagh, Tyrone. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Dublin legend Barney Rock says Dessie Farrell must be given a chance to bed in as Jim Gavin’s replacement.

Gavin steered Dublin to a historic five-in-a-row before stepping down, and Farrell is now in the hotseat.

“People are always going to judge him (Farrell) on what Jim has done, but he has to be given an opportunity,” said Rock.

“He has a great core of players there and I have no doubt he is trying to look at other players he would have had as well.

“The judgment for Dessie will be probably in 12 months or two years but you have to give him a chance, it is a different structure for him and they have a lot of players in at the minute.

“Everyone thought Jim was staying and for him he did the right thing, but he probably could have done it a little earlier from a Dublin point of view. It is tough on Dessie but he has been there. Dessie is a level-headed fella.”

Rock doesn’t see a move out of Croke Park for the Super 8s as a problem for Dublin: “Dublin like travelling and Dublin supporters like travelling.

“Financially, from a GAA point of view, I don’t know, but they don’t need it, they are well covered so there is no problem that way, and I always think it gives towns a great opportunity.

“I always said the best matches we played years ago would have been going to Navan and playing in the Leinster Championship or going to Tullamore. We went to Mullingar back in our time and they were great occasions, there was colour in the place going down so I don’t think that’s a problem.”

Rock doesn’t feel the full-back line is a potential weakness for the champions: “Davy Byrne has been consistent, he’s been very good for us, and Jonny Cooper hasn’t been there but you always need back up.

“Dublin would need two or three good quality backs but Dessie has been with the in the 21s so I’m sure he’ll know some of the lads that have to step up to that mark.”

Having seen the lean times with Dublin, Rock admits “nobody could ever forecast” Dublin’s success in recent years but in son Dean’s progress he saw promising signs almost a decade ago.

“I always remember Niall Moyna was in DCU at the time Dean (Rock) had just started, and there was an awful lot of strength and conditioning, and I think around that time the strength and conditioning really took off.

“I think it benefited Dublin a lot at that stage, certainly you could see where Dublin put the emphasis on coaching, and I know the past coaching of the County Board, Andy Kettle at one stage, he was really into looking at the strength and conditioning and getting out and getting more people out there looking after developing skills, and you can see the results out there now at the minute.

“Certainly there are more people playing Gaelic football in Dublin, even ladies, there’s lots more involvement in the GAA, and Dublin.”

Rock added that 2014 was a significant season for Dublin, given it was their last championship defeat (to Donegal): “If 2014 didn’t happen we might not have won five in a row. We might not have won, we don’t know what would happen.

“That seemed to spark off a plan, with the way Donegal retreated back and attacked and they had to develop some other way to play and they did that.

“I think they went into a basketball routine of keeping possession and waiting patiently and it seemed to work for them."

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