Jim Gavin was crowned Ireland’s Manager of the Year at a lavish ceremony sponsored by Signify in Dublin last Thursday, just five days after he brought the curtain down on his time in charge of the Dubs.
The timing of his departure, three months after the historic five-in-a-row All-Ireland win against Kerry, caught many by surprise but Thursday was the perfect time to finally explain why.
And Gavin, for one, insisted his timing was perfect. “After every campaign, after every championship run, you have to reflect upon the season that is gone,” he told reporters at the ceremony.
“I took that time to deliberate on what is best for my family, 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.
“It was a difficult decision. I have been involved for 12 years as a manager of Dublin football teams, be it under-21 or senior level. 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. I’m really honored to be able to share my coaching and managerial journey.
“I have been surrounded by a great backroom team who have supported me really well. I’m honored to hand it over to someone else.”
With Dublin set to announce their new manager in the coming days – a choice between Dessie Farrell, Pat Gilroy or Tommy Conroy according to reports – Gavin warned the new man of the workload to come.
He stressed, “It’s a choice you make. I had no issue giving the time I gave. One’s life is defined by the choices you make. I volunteered my time and I’m 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.”