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Sean Boylan Vs Jim Gavin - Who Is The Greatest?

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Obviously my username would suggest that I might carry a bit of bias into an argument such as this one, but I have been thinking in detail about this for most of the day so far.

Looking at each manager, they both had incredible achievements. Gavin won 6 All-Irelands in a very short space of time, Boylan won 4 and got to a further 3 finals over a 20+ year term.

An argument could be made that Boylan took over a team in a much worse off state than Gavin did. Dublin were very much contenders and that first All-Ireland took a huge weight off the group in 2011.

At the same time, I think there are more distraction now to bring lads away from GAA than there ever has been, more so in Dublin than anywhere else.

Gavin was able to keep a core group of lads motivated enough to keep standards at a ridiculously high level for the length of his tenure. Although Boylan was able to build different All-Ireland winning teams in two different decades.

I genuinely believe that resources play a huge factor in creating an All-Ireland winning team in this day and age and there's no denying that is something Dublin have over most counties including Meath.

Offering lads university places, good jobs & the best of sports science makes for an attractive environment for Dublin footballers to commit their life to the cause vs what other country teams are able to provide.

Pound for pound I would say that Boylan's achievements were greater because of how his honours were spread over the length of time he was managing (as opposed to a Mickey Harte). Also in terms of how competitive provincials were back then.

It might be like comparing apples and oranges but for me there's only one winner in this argument; Sean Boylan.

Open for debate though....

meathfan1 (Meath) - Posts: 219 - 20/05/2020 13:32:46    2278800

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If you have to make an argument about how great you are, you are probably not great. ;)

TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 3480 - 20/05/2020 13:47:23    2278802

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You'd have to say Jim, wouldn't you ? Sean never won five in a row.

Having said that, however good you are, you can only win titles with quality players.

lionofludesch (Down) - Posts: 366 - 20/05/2020 13:55:03    2278805

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Micko

TheHermit (Kerry) - Posts: 5700 - 20/05/2020 14:39:24    2278808

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Replying To meathfan1:  "Obviously my username would suggest that I might carry a bit of bias into an argument such as this one, but I have been thinking in detail about this for most of the day so far.

Looking at each manager, they both had incredible achievements. Gavin won 6 All-Irelands in a very short space of time, Boylan won 4 and got to a further 3 finals over a 20+ year term.

An argument could be made that Boylan took over a team in a much worse off state than Gavin did. Dublin were very much contenders and that first All-Ireland took a huge weight off the group in 2011.

At the same time, I think there are more distraction now to bring lads away from GAA than there ever has been, more so in Dublin than anywhere else.

Gavin was able to keep a core group of lads motivated enough to keep standards at a ridiculously high level for the length of his tenure. Although Boylan was able to build different All-Ireland winning teams in two different decades.

I genuinely believe that resources play a huge factor in creating an All-Ireland winning team in this day and age and there's no denying that is something Dublin have over most counties including Meath.

Offering lads university places, good jobs & the best of sports science makes for an attractive environment for Dublin footballers to commit their life to the cause vs what other country teams are able to provide.

Pound for pound I would say that Boylan's achievements were greater because of how his honours were spread over the length of time he was managing (as opposed to a Mickey Harte). Also in terms of how competitive provincials were back then.

It might be like comparing apples and oranges but for me there's only one winner in this argument; Sean Boylan.

Open for debate though...."
Sean Boylan by a country mile. He got his hands dirty in Meath and built up several very good squads into winners. I loved Meath in the 80's and 90's. They took no sh*te from anyone but still played some very attractive football. They proved that every All Ireland winning outfit needs steel running through it and there's no doubt that Armagh, Tyrone and Donegal looked at Meath and realised what they had to do. Sean was also a very decent fella who win, lose or draw always managed to keep his dignity.
Dublin are/were a superbly organised, well drilled outfit; very fit, driven and focused but I think anyone half decent, even a junior coach, could also have done well with the resources that Dublin had, playing wise, coaching, facilities etc. Jim Gavin did that very well but let's be honest not many would have failed. Gavin no doubt was loved by the Dubs and maybe even by his players but he struck me as not very engaging. I know he did a lot of good stuff off the field too but he just didn't come across as likeable in the way Sean Boylan did. Maybe that's unfair?

Ulsterman (Antrim) - Posts: 9265 - 20/05/2020 15:07:35    2278811

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Replying To Ulsterman:  "Sean Boylan by a country mile. He got his hands dirty in Meath and built up several very good squads into winners. I loved Meath in the 80's and 90's. They took no sh*te from anyone but still played some very attractive football. They proved that every All Ireland winning outfit needs steel running through it and there's no doubt that Armagh, Tyrone and Donegal looked at Meath and realised what they had to do. Sean was also a very decent fella who win, lose or draw always managed to keep his dignity.
Dublin are/were a superbly organised, well drilled outfit; very fit, driven and focused but I think anyone half decent, even a junior coach, could also have done well with the resources that Dublin had, playing wise, coaching, facilities etc. Jim Gavin did that very well but let's be honest not many would have failed. Gavin no doubt was loved by the Dubs and maybe even by his players but he struck me as not very engaging. I know he did a lot of good stuff off the field too but he just didn't come across as likeable in the way Sean Boylan did. Maybe that's unfair?"
Not forgetting Down and Derry who were also no shrinking violets either. They also would have looked at Meath and learnt too.

Ulsterman (Antrim) - Posts: 9265 - 20/05/2020 15:23:07    2278813

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Nothing to do with resources, two great managers. Very hard to split them for me. Gavin took a team that had won in 2011 to another level, and then kept pushing the level higher. But Dublin had and still have a massive football tradition when he took over. A football man through and through, won an All Ireland in '95. A cool customer who never towed down to a media that think he needs to it on a show for them, having a winning team is what counts, it' s what he delivered. Made me laugh when I heard the likes of Wooly Parkinson whinging because he doesn't 'smile' enough.

Boylan, the hurling man, took a Meath team that were on the Leinster floor to two consecutive All Ireland wins, two more losing finals after that before a new team of Meath stars got him two more All Ireland's in '96 and' 99. I prefer Boylan, purely because he did it with two teams, the first from a low base, he turned them into winners. Plus his mate managed Joy Division!

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 5861 - 20/05/2020 16:16:15    2278819

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Sean Boylan Vs Jim Gavin - Who Is The Greatest?

Brian Cody.

Cockney_Cat (UK) - Posts: 1044 - 20/05/2020 16:51:54    2278827

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Both great managers who changes the game in their respective eras.

yew_tree (Mayo) - Posts: 10230 - 20/05/2020 17:48:31    2278832

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Neither, Micko by a county mile, back in his day there was no entourage no dietitians, stats man etc.... just him, two selectors on paper but where he had a deciding vote .

It's just embarrassing from a Gaa hierarchy point of view that his achievements were never acknowledged and he was repeatedly passed over for the Ireland post at compromise rules level, Boylan, Johnno Keeffe, Early etc wouldn't lace micko''s boots and the Waterville man has prob forgotten more than most of them would ever know.

It's a pity he wasn't afforded that respect

Horsebox77 (Kerry) - Posts: 4791 - 20/05/2020 18:41:24    2278839

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Boylan by a mile, to achieve what he achieved with one of the so called weaker counties was amazing.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 13085 - 20/05/2020 19:17:55    2278846

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Replying To Horsebox77:  "Neither, Micko by a county mile, back in his day there was no entourage no dietitians, stats man etc.... just him, two selectors on paper but where he had a deciding vote .

It's just embarrassing from a Gaa hierarchy point of view that his achievements were never acknowledged and he was repeatedly passed over for the Ireland post at compromise rules level, Boylan, Johnno Keeffe, Early etc wouldn't lace micko''s boots and the Waterville man has prob forgotten more than most of them would ever know.

It's a pity he wasn't afforded that respect"
Have another look at the thread title, good lad.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 5861 - 20/05/2020 20:16:48    2278851

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Replying To GreenandRed:  "Nothing to do with resources, two great managers. Very hard to split them for me. Gavin took a team that had won in 2011 to another level, and then kept pushing the level higher. But Dublin had and still have a massive football tradition when he took over. A football man through and through, won an All Ireland in '95. A cool customer who never towed down to a media that think he needs to it on a show for them, having a winning team is what counts, it' s what he delivered. Made me laugh when I heard the likes of Wooly Parkinson whinging because he doesn't 'smile' enough.

Boylan, the hurling man, took a Meath team that were on the Leinster floor to two consecutive All Ireland wins, two more losing finals after that before a new team of Meath stars got him two more All Ireland's in '96 and' 99. I prefer Boylan, purely because he did it with two teams, the first from a low base, he turned them into winners. Plus his mate managed Joy Division!"
The late Tony Wilson, factory records and the famous hacienda club in Manchester. It's a great story that I would love to hear, I think off the ball did a bit on it . Anyone else anything to add?

Monkeycatcher (Meath) - Posts: 115 - 20/05/2020 20:35:49    2278854

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Hard to compare, Gaelic football has changed so much over the years.
Boylan was in an era where the manager organised everything.
Gavin was in an era where he oversees/delegates to a huge back room team.

One thing I would say when comparing Boylan to either Gavin or Micko.
Micko managed probably by far the most naturally talented group of players a county ever produced.
Gavin has by far the most resources in terms of being able to prepare teams.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 731 - 20/05/2020 20:59:22    2278860

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Replying To GreenandRed:  "Have another look at the thread title, good lad."
It ok lad I saw thread title, I just think neither was 'the greatest' maybe if worded 'of Sean Boylan and Jim Gavin' but that would be just pedantic yes.

Horsebox77 (Kerry) - Posts: 4791 - 20/05/2020 21:19:55    2278862

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Gavin, he didn't have herbs :)

lilypad (Kildare) - Posts: 1331 - 20/05/2020 21:24:45    2278863

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Replying To meathfan1:  "Obviously my username would suggest that I might carry a bit of bias into an argument such as this one, but I have been thinking in detail about this for most of the day so far.

Looking at each manager, they both had incredible achievements. Gavin won 6 All-Irelands in a very short space of time, Boylan won 4 and got to a further 3 finals over a 20+ year term.

An argument could be made that Boylan took over a team in a much worse off state than Gavin did. Dublin were very much contenders and that first All-Ireland took a huge weight off the group in 2011.

At the same time, I think there are more distraction now to bring lads away from GAA than there ever has been, more so in Dublin than anywhere else.

Gavin was able to keep a core group of lads motivated enough to keep standards at a ridiculously high level for the length of his tenure. Although Boylan was able to build different All-Ireland winning teams in two different decades.

I genuinely believe that resources play a huge factor in creating an All-Ireland winning team in this day and age and there's no denying that is something Dublin have over most counties including Meath.

Offering lads university places, good jobs & the best of sports science makes for an attractive environment for Dublin footballers to commit their life to the cause vs what other country teams are able to provide.

Pound for pound I would say that Boylan's achievements were greater because of how his honours were spread over the length of time he was managing (as opposed to a Mickey Harte). Also in terms of how competitive provincials were back then.

It might be like comparing apples and oranges but for me there's only one winner in this argument; Sean Boylan.

Open for debate though...."
Great topic for debate meathfan. It could be broadened to ask who, over the last fifty years, is the greatest football manager of them all . One point I would make is that the vast bulk of Sean Boylan's time as manager of Meath happened when there was no back door/no second chance . That adds to his achievements .

Greengrass (Louth) - Posts: 5126 - 20/05/2020 21:25:32    2278864

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Replying To Horsebox77:  "It ok lad I saw thread title, I just think neither was 'the greatest' maybe if worded 'of Sean Boylan and Jim Gavin' but that would be just pedantic yes."
Not a bit. I agree with you that Dwyer was the greatest, but it's just asking about Gavin and Boylan.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 5861 - 20/05/2020 21:40:06    2278867

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Jim himself would probably say Sean and Michael, with that wry smile of his.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Jim in the future, he's a very young man still and achieved and dominated everything this era had to offer and to compete with in a very short space of time, it's not been seen before.

Chapter 1, was a good one....until then, we'l keep her lit.

TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 3480 - 20/05/2020 22:05:29    2278869

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Replying To Monkeycatcher:  "The late Tony Wilson, factory records and the famous hacienda club in Manchester. It's a great story that I would love to hear, I think off the ball did a bit on it . Anyone else anything to add?"
His Dad, also a herbalist fought in The Rising. Seán is a fascinating, witty man and a great speaker. I could listen to him talk about any topic.

From Tom Dunne's Tony Wikson tribute. Sean from about 6 minutes in.

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An interview with Eamon Dunphy where he talks about, amongst other things, his father, leprosy, the Choctaw Indians, his work with the World Health Organisation and his Meath hurling days.

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GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 5861 - 20/05/2020 22:09:33    2278870

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