Dublin manager Jim Gavin was pleased with the efforts of the All-Ireland champions despite crashing out of the O’Byrne Cup in a shock semi-final defeat to Longford on Sunday.
Gavin used the ‘pre-season’ tournament to finalise his panel for the start of the National Football League in two weeks’ time where his side open their campaign against Kerry at Croke Park
“We got four good games, tried a lot of players." - Jim Gavin
But the Dublin manager could have no complaints in a match where he admitted his side were second best to a well-organised and fit Longford side who beat the Jacks 1-12 to 0-09 at Pearse Park.
“It was a typical pre-season game,” Gavin told RTÉ Sport. “I thought Longford looked very fit and mobile for January and they fully deserved their victory, playing some very good football.
“But it has been a great workout for the Dublin football team as well. We tried our very best and I couldn’t but commend the efforts of the Dublin players today but it wasn’t good enough against a very good Longford team.
“We had a few chances when there was a point in it; we hit the post and a few shots went wide but that is not to take away from the Longford who bounced back and finished the game off quite comprehensively so all credit to them.
“They’re a proud GAA county and you could see the reaction of the supporters; it meant a lot to them, and we wish them well in the final.”
And despite the defeat, the Dublin manager had nothing but praise for the O’Byrne Cup campaign as he looks ahead to the start of the league opener on 30 January.
“We got four good games, tried a lot of players and gave them an opportunity to stake a claim for the National Football League panel,” said Gavin.
“Coming out of today, we have two weeks uninterrupted preparation for the National Football League which is worth a lot of weight this time of year.”