‘Whether that’s in football or hurling, he’s just that type of fella that he could surprise you’

HIS SUDDEN DEPARTURE last Sunday night as the head of Dublin hurling was a shock, but one of the players who worked closely with Pat Gilroy when he ended the county’s barren football spell in 2011 does not believe it means the end of Gilroy’s future as a manager in the capital.

Gilroy departed after a single season in charge of the county hurling side due to work commitments, six years after that factor also came into play when he departed as the Dublin football supremo. 

Philly McMahon had been looking forward to seeing what progress Gilroy could make in his second season with hurling squad and is convinced that the idea of another spell in charge in the future with a county team, should not be dismissed.

“I knew what Pat did with us in his second year so I was looking forward to seeing what the hurlers could do this year. I understand Pat has huge work commitments, he did when he stepped way from the footballers.

“One year in, it must be a huge amount of work commitments to walk away from something, especially considering they’d a decent year. I think the most they lost in the group stages was two points.

“The way Pat is as a person, there was surprise when he was the football manager. I think he’d managed a Vincent’s U16 team or U14 before that. Nobody would have ever thought he’d have got the hurling job, he’s a footballer.

“I wouldn’t write him off, definitely not, no. Whether that’s in football or hurling, he’s just that type of fella that he could surprise you. They’re not far off it and the good thing is Pat is a Dublin man. He could be the person to develop the structures there whereas I’m not sure who’s out there in the hurling world in Dublin that can now take that on.”

Since that 2011 victory under Gilroy’s watch, Dublin have lifted the Sam Maguire five times with Jim Gavin at the helm.

Pat Gilroy celebrates Dublin’s 2011 All-Ireland final victory with Diarmuid Connolly.

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

McMahon is still mindful of the role Gilroy played in kick-starting this current run of glories.

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“It’s funny to think about the success of the 2011 team and the team that’s there today started, it probably started as the links going back to post-95 with the failure. Success only starts when failure begins.

“There was always that motivation because of Dublin not winning All-Irelands and then all of a sudden we’ve got a guy that comes in and puts structure on it. A very smart business guy and (he) starts to develop a culture, then you’ve got Jim coming in and building on that and put his own stamp on it.

“I certainly think what Pat did with us could have pushed the Dublin hurlers on a good bit.”

Philly McMahon was speaking at the official launch of the new-look Chadwicks brand.

Source: Jason Clarke

With demands off the pitch prompting Gilroy to channel his energies away from a GAA  role, it throws the issue of the commitment managers make into sharper focus.

“The hours players put in is massive, the hours managers put is even more,” says McMahon.

“The Dublin management team put serious amount of hours in, it’s ridiculous. I’d have a huge respect for the management team.

“I would see the countless hours they put in and they don’t really get the plaudits that we get in fairness to them. They’ve bought into a culture of helping the next generation which is us and there’s a lot of ex-Dublin players doing that with other teams down the ranks. It’s a bigger cause. There’s something bigger than financial reward to them guys.”

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