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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 10 April, 2020
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McCaffrey yet to speak to Gavin about Dublin return but he'd 'love to get back in'

The 2015 Footballer of the Year spent this summer in Africa.

Jack McCaffrey in action in the 2015 All-Ireland senior final
Jack McCaffrey in action in the 2015 All-Ireland senior final
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

2015 FOOTBALLER OF the Year Jack McCaffrey has yet to discuss a potential return to the Dublin senior squad with manager Jim Gavin for next season.

McCaffrey missed this year’s championship as he spent 11 weeks in Africa as part of his medical studies and to do some travelling.

But McCaffrey admits that he would ‘love to get back in’ to the Dublin setup.

“I haven’t no (talked to Jim) and I’m not sure what the procedure is. Obviously this year is different with everything shifted two weeks.

“I think the lads are going on their holiday later than they usually would. I’m going to be in Dublin playing football, for somebody, this summer so I’d love to get back in.

“(I) just finished up there with the club. We won the Division 2 play-offs, so promoted to Division 1 which is great for Clontarf.

“The lads won the minor championship as well. I’ve exams done as well, so kicking back and relaxing ’til Christmas.”

Jim Gavin and Jack McCaffrey celebrate Jim Gavin and Jack McCaffrey celebrating Dublin's 2012 All-Ireland U21 final win Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Aside from his club football duties, McCaffrey has also dabbled in a bit of hurling in recent weeks.

“(I) just played a few of the games for the junior E’s,” laughs McCaffrey.

“There’s a manager, Kev Collins, who’s fairly notorious for getting all hands on deck. So he roped me into a game or two.”

“Great fun, yeah. I’m not very good unfortunately, but it’s great craic. It’s a good bunch of lads.”

McCaffrey harbours no regrets at his decision to take a step back from the inter-county scene and is confident that he could get back up to speed quickly to the rigours and demands of top-level Gaelic football.

“I really enjoyed it anyway. I’m glad I did it. Hopefully it does turn out to be a good thing.”

“You can get back in. You can get back up to it. Ah, there is no doubt about it.

“There is countless examples of people even through injury who have been forced to take seasons off and that.

“I definitely don’t think it’s going to be a bad thing. I am not sure if it will be a massively good thing either.”

Independent.ie Higher Education GAA Senior Championships Launch & Draw UCD's Jack McCaffrey at yesterday's Sigerson Cup draw launch Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

Sitting in the stands in Croke Park through Dublin’s exhilarating encounters against Kerry and Mayo (twice) provided a different view for McCaffrey.

“The first All-Ireland final was one of the most bizarre games of football I’ve ever seen. It was kind of hard to enjoy, just because it was so weird. And obviously I was terrified that Dublin were going to lose.

“But then the second final was a cracking game and obviously the Kerry semi-final was unbelievable. So it was great to be back as a fan.

“Watching the warm-up you’re trying to to see if you can pick up any hints. The parades and that, it’s kind of cool that you know what it’s like to be down there.

The Dublin team celebrate Dublin players celebrating their All-Ireland final win Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“When you’re on the pitch you’re so focused on the match, you kind of forget the sense of occasion for everyone in the stadium. It definitely added a different perspective to it but it was quite enjoyable.

“I always try to embrace it a bit and have a little look around, It’s dreams come true kind of stuff so you don’t want to completely block it out but at the end of the day you can’t sit back.

“You have to chase someone around the pitch for 70 minutes. You probably can’t savour every second of it as much as you can as a fan.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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