Following Saturday afternoon’s announcement that Jim Gavin has stepped down from his role as Dublin senior football manager, we look at the contenders to take up the reins.
The Na Fianna club man is odds-on to succeed Gavin. Having led the county to All-Ireland glory at both minor and U21 levels this decade, he is well acquainted with much of the current senior crop.
In recent seasons, he was a member of the county’s hurling backroom team under Pat Gilroy. He also managed Na Fianna in the 2019 Dublin Championship, where they exited at the quarter-final stage at the hands of eventual winners Ballyboden.
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Clarke was a valued member of Gavin’s backroom staff after coming on board for the 2018 season, and was also trusted with managing the side in the O’Byrne Cup.
The Whitehall Colmcille club man was previously involved in Paul ‘Pillar’ Caffrey’s coaching ticket for four seasons.
Sherlock was the forwards coach with Dublin throughout the Gavin era, and was hands-on in terms of communication to the players on the field of play during matches.
‘Jayo’ is beloved by fans and players alike, and is credited with playing a huge role in the ‘drive for five’, after early-year rumours that he had departed the set-up.
While Sherlock looked after the forward unit, Darcy was in charge of the defensive side of things as part of the Gavin ticket.
The former Leitrim captain is well-respected by the current bunch, having evolved his coaching methods with the modern game.
“I think the standard of coaching and expectation from us, the hands-on thing, is a completely different dynamic,” he told Sky Sports in August. “There’s a massive change in the thought-process as well, a massive change.”
He has certainly moved with the times, and if available could be a popular candidate.
The current Dublin ladies football manager has raised the standards in the women’s game in recent years, leading the Sky Blues to three successive Brendan Martin Cup triumphs.
Although he has already committed to another season at the helm of the Dublin ladies side, could he make the switch across if offered the role?
Gilroy helped Dublin end a 16-year wait for All-Ireland glory in 2011, laying much of the foundations for the success that followed this decade.
He stepped away after the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final loss to Mayo, and in the interim took charge of the county’s hurling team in 2018. However, he left that role after just one year in charge due to work commitments.
If his situation has changed since then, the county board will certainly consider him.