The 41 year-old, from the Round Towers GAA club in Clondalkin, began his county football career with the Dublin minors in 1988 and 1989.
His stint with the senior footballers started in 1992 and lasted for a decade. The highlight was in 1995 when he was part of the Dublin side that won the All-Ireland senior title while he also won a National League medal in 1993 and four Leinster medals in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 2002.
Gavin has also enjoyed brilliant success in a coaching capacity for the Dublin U21 footballers. He coached the side to 2003 All-Ireland title before taking over as manager at that level in 2008, winning two All-Ireland crowns (2010 and 2012) along with three Leinster crowns (2009, 2010 and 2012).
Deegan was a teammate of Gavin’s on that triumphant Dublin senior side in 1995. An All-Ireland minor winner with the county in 1982, he also claimed National League medals in 1991 and 1993.
At club level Deegan was a county senior championship winner with Erins Isle in 1993 and 1997 along with a Leinster title in 1997.
Deegan enjoyed success at management level with Fingal Ravens as he guided them as far as the 2008 All-Ireland club IFC final and later that same year he was at the helm when the Dublin junior side lifted the All-Ireland crown.
“I was in the trenches with Mick and I certainly admired him as a footballer. We were friends after that and when I used to meet him at games, I was always impressed with his read of a game. And he’s a fantastic coach. He brought on Michael Fitzsimons and Denis Bastick with the Dublin junior team. So he’s well in tune with what’s out there.” – Jim Gavin
Darcy played with Dublin at senior level after having captained Leitrim to Connacht SFC glory in 1994. He won Leitrim senior titles with Aughawillan along with Dublin and Leinster senior honours with St Brigid’s in 2003. Darcy has experience at a coaching level with Dublin U21 teams alongside Gavin over the past decade.
“I very much enjoyed not only playing with Declan but coaching with him as well. He’s been with me on and off with the U21s, particularly when we won in 2010, and he’s a fantastic coach and a motivator for the players.” – Jim Gavin
Declan Darcy. Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer
Kennedy has been involved with Dublin senior sides in recent years as part of Pat Gilroy’s backroom teams. A Tyrone native, Kennedy was also part of Gavin’s Dublin U21 management setups of late and has previously served as an analyst for Irish International Rules sides.
“With me, Michael’s worked closely in 2010, when we won, and he was a selector as well this year. He’s set his root now in Dublin and he’s done a fantastic job there. He’s a great ability to read a game and a very good coach as well.” – Jim Gavin
O’Hanlon was a selector on the St Vincent’s team that won the Dublin and Leinster senior football crowns in 2007 before going on to win the All-Ireland club title against Nemo Rangers in 2008. He is another who has figured on the U21 management teams having been involved with Gavin for the past four seasons.
“Shane has been with me since 2009 as a selector with the U21’s, and I’ve great respect for him as well. I would like to think that I’ve got a very competent group of men, but our collective ambition will be to facilitate players in their aims.” – Jim Gavin
Kennedy, from the Naomh Mearnóg club, will serve as the side’s physical coach. He is a former Dublin minor and U21 footballer who also featured in the TG4 programme ‘The Underdogs’ alongside the likes of Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy and Cork’s Pearse O’Neill. In 2007 he lined out for London in the Connacht championship against Leitrim.
Kennedy previously had a stint doing work experience for AFL outfit West Coast Eagles as part of a Sports Science course and has also completed a Masters in Exercise Science. He has worked as a GPO for Dublin clubs St Brigid’s and St Vincent’s, while in January 2008 he set up the National Athlete Development Academy (NADA).
Kennedy was recruited by Anthony Daly in late 2010 for a stint with the Dublin senior hurlers and has been highly-rated for his work in that role over the past two seasons in the strength and conditioning of the Clare man’s side.