Dessie Farrell Doing the Things that Frighten

Dessie Farrell will speak many times with the media over the course of his tenure as manager of the Dublin GAA senior football team but there can only be one first time and that took place in the boardroom of team sponsor AIG on Friday.

It was packed as you might expect and with time at a premium, the questions being fired from the countries leading sportswriters were coming thick and fast.

Farrell handled them all with good grace, being open and honest where he could and circumspect where circumstances demanded more discretion.

In the former category were the questions about his potential backroom team. With many of those who have served in recent years under Jim Gavin only returning from a team holiday over the weekend, he was keen to stress that conversations with those who might or might not be continuing would be held face to face or at least one to one as opposed to through the media which is fair enough.

On questions of player availability and potential selection he was positive on the fact that so many of those who had contributed to the five in a row were still available at this point and that everyone would be given a chance to shine in the new era, everyone starting from the same start point.

He was perhaps most engaging when discussing his personal reflections on taking up the job which could equally be described as the best in Irish sport but also the most difficult.

He spoke of his love for football and his love for coaching and of how opportunities like this can come and then be gone.

“There are two ways you can choose to live your life, one as a timid soul living year to year, day to day or even hour to hour, or the other to perhaps do the things that frighten you at times.”

This is the moment for the latter in Farrell’s view of the world and that is one that has been deeply considered and thought through.

One question came as to whether he will place the same emphasis on values and behaviour as had been the case under Gavin.

He paused to consider his answer before saying that yes this would be one thing to continue. The pause might only have been to consider that this ‘inheritance’ as it was being portrayed, is something that has been at the core of Dessie Farrell’s view of life from the outset.

His own business is Compete with Compassion and is described as providing an opportunity for businesses and organisations to “maximise the potential of your organisation while making a real difference in the world we live in.”

That’s a bold ambition and it is one which will be central to how Dublin GAA not only goes about winning games but also how it can use its position as a force for good.

The Dublin GAA journey has long been one of the most interesting and exciting in Irish sport. It is in safe hands for the next chapter.

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Image credit: Ramsey Cardey, Sportsfile

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