Jim Gavin thanks ‘outstanding leader’ Ger Brennan

The Dublin and St Vincent’s centre-back announced his retirement on Monday

Jim Gavin has acknowledged Ger Brennan's 'outstanding' leadership qualities as his 2013 All-Ireland winning centre back officially hung up his Dublin jersey for good on Monday morning.

Brennan made his senior championship debut back in the 2007 Leinster final and despite continuing to impress for his club St Vincent’s he has suffered two injury plagued seasons on the intercounty front. He pulled out of this year’s All-Ireland winning panel in July having not started a championship game since the 2013 final due to a number of injuries including an Achilles tendon problem.

Brennan has won five Leinster titles, two All-Irelands and an All Star. He also has two All-Ireland club titles.

Gavin described his former number six as “an outstanding leader both on and off the field of play Ger inspired those around him by his actions of self-determination, self-sacrifice and dedication to his sport - all focused on the team being the best it could be.

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“An exemplary individual and gentleman; Ger’s humility, poise and grace are a credit his family, friends and club St Vincent’s and Dublin GAA wish Ger the very best on his new journey.”

The 29-year-old has been heavily linked with a career in politics and has been involved in the political debate already expressing his strong views on a number of issues including the same-sex marriage referendum. He released the following statement on his intercounty retirement via the GPA on Monday morning:

“It is with both satisfaction and sadness that I announce my retirement from inter-county football. I am sufficiently satisfied that I have fulfilled my boyhood dreams to wear the Dublin Senior Football team jersey and to achieve success on and off the field of play. I also feel sadness that a particular journey of my life is coming to a close, and I will miss everything that is associated with representing my county.

“While the public might measure a team’s success by the trophies raised, I feel I have won far more through the life-long bonds and friendships I have developed with so many players and management throughout my career; and for these I am truly grateful. I have been fortunate to have played for Dublin every year since I was 13 years of age and it has immeasurable enhanced the quality of my life.

"I would like to thank the many people who have influenced my personal, spiritual and sporting development to date. Thanks to Jim Gavin, Pat Gilroy and Pillar Caffrey for placing their faith in me to wear the senior jersey.

"To my club, St. Vincent's and the many coaches and volunteers who dedicated themselves to my advancement, thank you. A particular thanks to Mickey Whelan, a close friend and a mentor, whose blueprint permeates the person I am today.

“To the Gaelic Players Association for their continued interest in my wellbeing and development, thank you. And to the Dublin County Board and the Dublin supporters, a sincere thank you for all of the support throughout the years.

“Finally, I would like to thank the Dublin players, my friends, my family and especially my parents, Mary and PJ, for always being there for me through good times and in bad.”

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue is a sports journalist with The Irish Times