Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 2°C
©INPHO/Donall Farmer Johnny McCaffrey in action.
# True Blue
Dublin hurling captain Johnny McCaffrey on the Capital's amazing year
And what it’s like to celebrate in front of the Hill.

THERE ARE FEW things that mean more to Dublin players than celebrating in front of Hill 16.

It’s extra special though when you’re the Dublin hurling captain and you’ve just won your side’s first Leinster Championship in 52 years.

“It was great. It’s what you dream of really when you’re a Dub.

“Lifting a trophy and going down to the Hill. It’s a special time, you’re trying to soak it up.

“It was a massive feeling to go around the rest of the stadium as well.”

The reason for the improvement in Dublin’s performances this year is simple enough too according to the Lucan Sarsfield’s club man.

“I think that comes with games. It’s amazing that, when the more games you play, obviously, you get used to the lads around you but you also get match practice, which you can’t beat. That really stood to us every game we were playing.

“We knew we had to improve every game we played. We knew after Kilkenny, we were going to have to be better the next day because they were going to come out and be better. And then we knew when we got to the Leinster final that we were going to have to play even better again.

“Galway were waiting and they knew what we were capable of so we knew if we didn’t improve, we would be flat. Thankfully that’s what we did.

“It’s the first time we played five games in a row as well. I suppose it is a new thing that we’ve improved. We generally have two or three weeks in between games. It’s harder to get momentum. I think that really stood to us, as we went forward.”

The support from the Dublin fans is growing too and McCaffrey can feel the momentum swinging behind his side.

“I think it’s great that both teams are doing well at the moment to be honest. The hurling support has been unbelievable.

“Even the day down in Thurles when we beat Limerick in the league final, they were great. It was a sort of a reminder of the day a few years ago against Cork in the league when we won that game to get to the final, there was a great outpouring of emotion on the pitch.

“Your friends and family go to all your games. So you’re delighted for all of them that follow you through thick and thin. You’re delighted for them really.”

Lessons learned
Of course, McCaffrey and his team mates aren’t letting enjoying the experience get in the way of doing their jobs when it comes to taking on Cork on Sunday and the 25-year-old says lessons have been learned from past experiences.

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“It was a totally new thing getting to the final two years ago. It was a great experience.

“Two years ago we were missing a few key lads but we were going in to try to contain Tipp. But we were hopeful of winning.

“Tipp were on such an upward curve at the time that it was going to take an unbelievable performance to win.

“I think we’re more in control of ourselves and more in control of what we do. If we get a performance on the day, we don’t mind really who we play.

“And even when we beat Galway this year, while we were delighted to get the win, we realised that we’re not around too long. The career doesn’t span too often.

“In 2011 and 2012 things didn’t go too well so we realise that we don’t know what will happen next year. We enjoyed the couple of days after the Galway game but then we got the head down.”

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