HILL 16 LEGEND Jason Sherlock always sensed that his old Dublin playing partner Jim Gavin would go on to land a top managerial job.
In 1995, Sherlock and Gavin were team-mates in a squad which became capital sensations when they beat Tyrone, ending a 12-year wait to capture Sam Maguire.
Now the forward whose eye for goal had the terraces rocking to sounds of the Outhere Brothers’ “Boom Boom Boom” has backed Gavin as the man with both the passion and the skills to replace Pat Gilroy as Dubs manager.
“It’s Jim’s job to turn down and rightly so,” Sherlock said in DCU on Thursday, where he was awarded a scholarship places on the university’s Executive MBA Programme.
“Jim has served his time as Dublin U21 manager and has done really well. I’d like to think that while Pat’s [appointment] came out of the blue, I’d hope there won’t be anything like that this time.”
Gilroy made it clear that last month’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat against Mayo would be his last as Dubs boss. Gavin has been the consensus pick to take over from the St Vincent’s man since, and his appointment is expected to be ratified at a meeting of the Dublin County Board on 1 October.
Even during his playing days, Sherlock reflects, Gavin had the personality and perspective which makes him a perfect fit for management.
“He always had that about him. I think Jim was always grounded, first and foremost, he was a guy you loved to be in the trenches with.
Jim as a player saw both extremes. He started off in an All-Ireland final, and then towards the end of his career he was seen as a bit of a panel player.
From my point of view his demeanour or attitude never changed, and I think that shows you what type of player he was. He is a quite honourable guy, and he’s proved it now in management that he’s done a good job.
So yeah, on the assumption that he gets it, I think he’ll be a great man to do it.
If Gavin’s appointment is ratified, the Round Towers man will come to the job with an indepth knowledge of the county’s rising stars, many of whom would have played in his All-Ireland U21 winning teams of 2010 and 2012.
Young talents like Ciarán Kilkenny, Jack McCaffrey and Emmett Ó Conghaile have already become familiar faces in the senior set-up under Gilroy and Sherlock doesn’t see any need for the new man to do a complete overhaul.
“To be fair that Dublin team is a young team. I wouldn’t anticipate wholesale changes. It’s not as if they’re in a bad state like previous Dublin managers who had to pick up the pieces in years gone by.”
Sherlock was speaking at the announcement by Dublin City University Business School and the Gaelic Players Association that himself and current Dublin star Denis Bastick have been granted scholarship places on the prestigious Executive MBA Programme.