Dublin footballer Con O’Callaghan pictured with his PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month Award in Dublin.
Dublin footballer Con O’Callaghan pictured with his PwC GAA / GPA Player of the Month Award in Dublin.

Con O'Callaghan praises Dessie Farrell's management style


By John Harrington

Dublin football star, Con O’Callaghan, says Dessie Farrell has brought a different approach as team manager since succeeding Jim Gavin in the role.

Following in the foot-steps of Gavin who led Dublin to a historic five-in-a-row was always going to be a tough task for Farrell, but he proved himself up to the task by stretching Dublin’s All-Ireland winning streak to a six in succession in 2020.

He did it his own way too, according to O’Callaghan, rather than simply try to mimic the management style that had served Gavin so well.

"There are differences alright," said O'Callaghan.

"I suppose Dessie is probably a little bit more of a man-to-man manager. He's really good at that and he probably gets a little bit more involved.

"Jim liked taking the objective view and would stand back. He'd have a look at the wider scheme of things.

"Dessie probably gets a little bit more involved in running the drills and even just close-up personal conversations and stuff like that.

"Jim would have had a vision. Dessie is probably a little bit more up close and personal man-to-man.

"So it's nice to have a little change like that. But like, in fairness to both, both their styles are really effective. They worked really well so far."

Dublin manager Dessie Farrell pictured holding the Sam Maguire Cup.
Dublin manager Dessie Farrell pictured holding the Sam Maguire Cup.

O’Callaghan was a key man for Dublin in their December All-Ireland Final win over Mayo and yesterday was named the PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Final.

The Cuala club-man is only 24 and has already won five All-Ireland medals, but a recent conversation with Kilkenny hurler, Richie Hogan, impressed upon him the importance of not taking that success for granted.

"I was at a media event recently and I spoke to Richie and he pointed out that he won six or seven All-Ireland by the time he was 27, but hasn't seen once since,” says O’Callaghan.

"I'm well aware of the possibility that things could dry up and dry up pretty quickly.

"In Dublin from 1996 until 2011, they always promised and people thought they would do it and there would be a dominance and there absolutely wasn't.

"So we’re lucky in the period we are in at the moment.

"We’re just trying to keep that going but yeah, I am aware that it has been an extremely successful period that I’ve been lucky enough to come into."