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07th Oct 2023

Dessie Farrell’s decision on future could have big ramifications on Dublin squad

Lee Costello

The Last, Last Dance?

Dessie Farrell’s decision to stay on as Dublin inter-county manager could have big ramifications on the rest of the All-Ireland winning squad.

Farrell still had two more years on left on his three-year deal, but there was speculation that after their success last season, and with the ageing squad that they have, the former Dublin forward might retire and sail into the sunset.

In a statement issued by Dublin yesterday evening, board chairman Mick Seavers welcomed the news: “We are delighted that Dessie has agreed to stay on with the Dublin senior football team for another two seasons.

“Dessie and his backroom team have dedicated so much of their time and effort to Dublin GAA over the past four seasons. We look forward to continuing to work with them in the years ahead.”

Farrell’s future wasn’t the only one in doubt heading into the 2024 season, as many of the squad’s key players are at an age profile where retirement could be around the corner.

Dessie Farrell

Captain James McCarthy won a record ninth All-Ireland title last summer and even said in his post-match interview that it could be his last time in a Dublin jersey.

Dean Rock and Mick Fitzsimons echoed similar responses, which suggests that they are going to be weighing up their options and seeing how things unfold in the coming months.

One of the things they no doubt would have been waiting to find out, is whether or not the current management team that brought them all back together would continue.

Stephen Cluxton surprised everyone when he returned to the panel last year, alongside Paul Mannion and Jack McCaffrey, who had both previously opted out.

The whole season was built on a ‘Last Dance’ sort of vibe, but with Cluxton, McCarthy and Fitzsimons all winning that record ninth title, it seemed probable that they would end it there.

However, with the promise of a new season and new opportunities just around the corner, the temptation to get an unprecedented tenth could rope them back in for one more throw of the dice.

Whether they do or not, is still undecided, but Farrell’s decision to stay will definitely make it tougher for them to retire.

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