McCaffrey sustained the injury during Sunday's All-Ireland final. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
long road to recovery

Bohan backs clubmate McCaffrey to bounce back from cruciate knee ligament damage

“It’s tough on him, (but) it’s easier having an All-Ireland medal in your pocket.”

DUBLIN LADIES SENIOR football team manager Mick Bohan has backed Clontarf clubmate Jack McCaffrey to make a full and successful recovery from cruciate knee ligament damage.

And Bohan says there would have been a lynch mob looking for Diarmuid Connolly if the shoe was on the other foot and the ace forward threw a GPS unit at a Mayo free-taker during last Sunday’s All-Ireland final.

Bohan confirmed that McCaffrey, the 2015 Footballer of the Year, sustained the dreaded injury in the early stages of last Sunday’s All-Ireland final victory over Mayo.

McCaffrey looks set to miss Dublin’s 2018 Allianz League campaign — but should return to feature in next summer’s championship.

Bohan, who worked alongside Dublin senior boss Jim Gavin in the U21 and senior grades, revealed: “Jack McCaffrey did his cruciate. Jack did it here on Sunday, it was confirmed on Monday.

“It’s tough on him, (but) it’s easier having an All-Ireland medal in your pocket and have it done than not have it.”

Bohan added: “He’s in the medical profession so that brings its own discipline.

“He’ll get the best of care under Jim. I thought it was an ankle, I couldn’t believe that he was being taken off and then when I saw it, obviously, I knew it was more than that.”

Bohan also heaped praise on final match-winner Dean Rock, who held his nerve in the face of intense pressure to kick a decisive free and land three-in-a-row for the Sky Blues.

Bohan smiled as he revealed that Rock had missed a late free as the A and B teams drew an internal training game before the final.

And he explained how Rock worked hard to erase the memories of a late missed free against Kerry in the League final — when a point would have brought the sides level.

Mick Bohan Dublin ladies manager Mick Bohan. Tom Beary / INPHO Tom Beary / INPHO / INPHO

Bohan said: “Dean missed the last free of the (training) game and was given dog’s abuse missing it. Isn’t that incredible?

“And there is an irony in it, the whole GPS thing with Lee Keegan. We were laughing earlier. Can you imagine if it was Diarmuid Connolly at the opposite end throwing it?

“There would be people looking to hang him. But Dean didn’t flinch, and he had to have seen it (GPS), it came across his eye-line.

“But again, it comes back to situations. National league final, he missed a free to level the game and I remember speaking to him a week after it, and he was talking about the position of his shoulder and how he had misjudged the wind (and) that caused the ball to drift right.

“Just how much he was saying to me told me how much he had processed the whole thing — and where he was able to put it.

“And you look at that – and you’re not surprised to see it going over.”

Bohan, who managed Dublin when they lost the 2003 All-Ireland final to Mayo, is hoping that the feel-good factor in the capital can bring a big crowd to Croke Park for next Sunday’s TG4 Ladies decider.

It’s Dublin against Mayo again and there are big links between the male and female squads.

Bohan reflected: “Did you see what our lads did for us yesterday? They all told the audience to get their arses in here on Sunday. Dean Rock said it, his girlfriend (Niamh McEvoy) is playing.

“Flynner (Paul Flynn) is with Fiona Hudson, Jack McCaffrey’s sister Sarah, Sinead Goldrick is with (Dublin hurler) David Treacy, Aoife Kane is with Con O’Callaghan. Molly Lamb is with Con’s brother.

“Lauren Magee is Johnny’s daughter and Leah Caffrey is John Caffrey’s daughter from the 1983 team.

“I just think the whole GAA family has been made special by that involvement.”

Flynn, Rock and Cooper were visitors to the ladies’ camp during the summer and Bohan said: “Just having those fellas who are in legendary status all over the city surrounding the camp, the girls are made to feel valued.

Sarah Tierney and Sinead Ahearne Sarah Tierney of Mayo and Dublin's Sinead Ahearne at Croke Park yesterday ahead of this weekend's final. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

“I think that all adds into it. There’s a feel-good factor in the city this week, I think people don’t want the summer to end and don’t want the party to end.

“I do think that’s going to have an effect on the attendances this weekend.”

Dublin will aim for a first Brendan Martin Cup win since 2010 at the weekend — and they’re desperate to avoid a fourth straight final defeat.

But standing in their path is a Mayo side with attacking ace Cora Staunton as the spearhead.

The Carnacon superstar is aiming for a fifth All-Ireland senior medal in what could be her last outing in the green and red.

And when asked if there’s any special plan for Staunton, Bohan laughed: “There is a sniper employed over there.

“Look, Cora has done things in the game that most fellas would dream of doing.

“And she is well able to play it, knows how to get her frees, knows how to intimidate referees, knows how to do all the smart things on the field.

“Funny enough, going back to 2003, a girl called Maria Kavanagh marked her that day and Cora didn’t score.

“Can you imagine Mayo won an All-Ireland final with Cora not scoring?

“You would fairly bank on the fact that if you kept her scoreless, you would win the game. I hope she scores everything on Sunday and we win.”

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