Dublin and Ballymun Kickhams full forward Dean Rock spoke to Jamie Moore about all things from the high pressure All Ireland winning kick versus Mayo to his early life and what made him become the player he is today.
Listen to the interview in full below.
Rock is no stranger to the high pressure kicks and none come much bigger than a kick to win the All Ireland final. Dean found himself in this situation in last year’s final as he stepped up in the final moments to seal the win for Dublin over Mayo. He spoke of what went through his head on such a massive occasion.
“I get a lot of confidence from my own purposeful practice that I put in day in and day out on the training pitch.”
“For me it’s quite simple. I get my breath back, bring down my heart rate and then concentrate on my own kicking process that I’ve done time and time again over the past number of years.”
“Going straight into an individual bubble, as a teen you’re always concentrated on a team mindset but you shift to the individual mindset, focus on yourself and your process and most of the time thankfully it looks after itself.”
Dean has played for his club Kickhams since the age of five and spoke of when he first realised that he had what it took to be a top class player and free taker.
“Five or six (years old), I knew from a very young age even in those under age games if a free was awarded I just would’ve found myself running over to take it.”
“Some guys might’ve shied away from it but for me I was always wanting to kick frees and be the man on the ball.”
“I’d be going down to the pitch with a bag of balls and practising my frees. I’m thankful for those choices that I made at that age. A lot of repetition as a young kid led me to be the free taker I am today.”
Being part of the Dublin senior panel means Dean spends the majority of the season away from his club. However when the championship and league ends every player goes back to their respective club and go from team mates to opposition. Rock gave his thoughts on this.
“It’s quite a unique thing in the GAA, that’s what happens on a regular basis. Guys are there representing their club and want to win for their club.”
“Whatever happens on the pitch between county guys at certain times you don’t take it off the pitch. You shake hands after and it’s all good.”
“Thankfully everyone has a lot of respect for one another in Dublin club football, it’s great to play in these competitive championship games.”
Also on this morning’s show was Leo Cullen, Johnny Sexton and Jamison Gibson-Park on Leinster’s impressive Champions Cup semi final win over Scarlets at the Aviva. David O’Connor who is a coach at Shelbourne is running ten marathons in ten days to highlight mental health issues. Dublin ladies Noelle Healy spoke ahead of their Lidl National Football League semi final against Galway in Kinnegad.
Listen to the show in full below:
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