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

Dessie Farrell 'delighted' Dublin prevailed

By Cian O'Connell

"I'd say delighted is the word," Dublin manager remarked following Saturday's All Ireland SFC Final win over Mayo at Croke Park. 

At the end of a deeply uncertain year Dublin remain the standard bearers in Gaelic Football.

"Obviously there's a bit of relief in there too, just thrilled for the players, so happy for them," Farrell continued. 

"It's been a long, long year and I'm so happy for them in terms of they've got the result tonight and it's just reward in terms of how they applied themselves throughout the year and stepped up at different stages when it was needed."

Undoubtedly a quiet Croke Park provided a strange backdrop, but family was a theme discussed by the Dublin camp. 

"Yeah, delighted for them and their families," Farrell added. "It was a big night for the players' families, it's unfortunate they couldn't be here and we spoke about this earlier in the week. 

"It's to thank the families, the love, the support, the guidance throughout the years that allowed them to be in this position tonight. We remember players' families but also as I mentioned earlier the families of those who have suffered this year and lost loved ones. 

"We remember them on a night like tonight and hope there's better days ahead for everybody indeed, but for tonight we're very, very happy and delighted for the lads."

When Dublin had Robbie McDaid sin binned, Farrell knew how vital the third quarter would be.

"We spoke about it at half-time, how important it was not to capitulate at that stage because up until half time we were struggling with their high press," Farrell stated. 

"We knew they were going to go toe to toe, they're very good at bringing that high octane intense type of a game and it was very, very challenging for us. 

"It was going to be even moreso in the second-half, a man down, they were able to get themselves reorganised you would have thought at the half-time break to have a right good go. 

"But we banged heads on it as coaches and then turned it over to the players in terms of what we wanted them to do, or how we'd try to manage our way through that and I think getting out the other side of that probably provided us with the platform for victory then."

With 20 minutes remaining the teams were deadlocked, but Dublin finished strongly.

"There was a sense then that we were back to a full complement and we had 15 v 15 and we'd some fresh legs coming in off the bench as well and that was probably a time for us to kick," Farrell commented.

"That's what we spoke about and thankfully it materialised."