David Gough, who refereed the drawn All-Ireland final, says he felt no pressure when officiating the biggest match of the year.
Much of the focus in the build-up to the game was on the selection of Meath native Gough, with some pundits suggesting he should not have been appointed as he is based in Dublin.
However, when 3:30pm on September 1 arrived, he felt no pressure whatsoever.
“It is actually any other game,” Gough told The Six O’Clock Show.
“I had spent the week beforehand with a sports psychologist who had prepared me for that moment. He just made it like any other game.
“[The GAA] have given referees access to sports psychologists in the last number of years. It’s huge for us that we’re able to go and visualise things in matches to help us prepare for the game. We really do need it, and it’s a great tool to have in our pockets.
“I just couldn’t wait to get onto the pitch and throw the ball up. Everything else just fades into the background after that. The noise in the stadium, the full capacity, you don’t notice anything about it. You’ve 70 to 80 minutes of concentration. You see colours, numbers, jerseys. You don’t even recognise the players, so I didn’t feel any pressure going in at all.”
The common consensus after the match was that he made the right calls for the big decisions, but Gough made it clear he doesn’t pay attention to anybody’s opinions.
He noted: “I don’t listen to any of the analysis. I don’t watch back the game with any analysts’ commentary. I watch back the game myself, with my microphone played over it which is given to us by Croke Park. So I don’t really get caught up in any of the commentary whatsoever.
“It’s really nice for me to be able to sit down and watch a match and focus on what I did and what I performed, how I talked to the players and how they spoke to me.”
Cork’s Conor Lane will take charge of the replay on Saturday.
Watch Dublin vs Kerry in the All-Ireland final replay live on BreakingNews Sports Arena from 5pm on Saturday.
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