Christmas is normally classed as the silly season, but in the world of GAA and particularly the media, it’s starts as soon as the inter-county championship is over.
The jersey’s worn last Saturday have still to be washed and already the attention has turned to the 2017 championship and who will lift Sam Maguire in just under twelve months time.
Before the Dublin squad had left the Croke Park pitch last Saturday evening the bookies had installed them as favourites to go all the way again next season. This of course started talk of Jim Gavin’s men winning three in a row and the media latched onto this theme straight away.
The last side to win three All Ireland titles in a row was Kerry in 1986. With Dublin winning four titles in the last six seasons and the last two, talk of making it three in a row is somewhat understandable, but it’s also venturing on dangerous ground, there is a lot of football still to be played in the opening four months of the year before you even get to the start of the championship and such thoughts creeping into the minds of the Dublin players could derail the new season before it even got started.
Sentiments that were echoed by Cian O’Sullivan when it was put to him by RTÉ.
“It’s a distraction and you’re getting into dangerous territory if you’re putting that out there,”.
“A treble would be a massive achievement but it’s something we’re not going to focus on or think too much about as of now.
“For us, next year starts off with the O’Byrne Cup in January.
Cian went on to explain that Dublin manager Jim Gavin wouldn’t tolerate any talk from the players of doing a three in a row, particularly at the start of the new season.
“Jim Gavin is very methodical and is process driven in the way he manages. He won’t be letting the lads get carried away with talk of three-in-a-row in January.”
It’s a sure sign of how focused this magnificent group are, as it would be very easy with all their recent success for players to start thinking too far ahead. But come January and the new season the Dublin squad will be back to their mantra of one game at a time and not looking beyond the challenge at hand.
It’s a mindset that has worked perfectly for Jim Gavin and his squad to date, so why would the players deviate from a winning formula. It won’t stop the media from constantly talking about the the treble throughout the 2017 season, but it won’t be fuelled by any such talk from the Dublin camp.