Friday 28 April 2017

'Class' McCaffrey eases way back

The sight of Jack McCaffrey gliding across the ground in Gorey for his first inter-county game in almost a year was all he needed to see. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
The sight of Jack McCaffrey gliding across the ground in Gorey for his first inter-county game in almost a year was all he needed to see. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Seamus McEnaney didn't have to be in Parnell Park on Sunday, where effectively a third/fourth string Dublin side easily dealt with DCU, to realise the extent of the gap that exists in the province where he has returned to after a four-year absence.

McEnaney is back in management with Wexford, more than four years on from his departure from Meath.

The landscape has changed considerably in those four years, nothing more so than the strength of Dublin and their vice-like grip on the province.

In 2012 McEnaney's Meath team got to within three points of Dublin but the gap has grown to alarming levels.

DCU manager Niall Moyna, part of the previous Dublin management team, described the situation as "scary," suggesting after Sunday's game that the gulf is still widening.

But it was in Wexford where McEnaney perhaps got the biggest insight into what's in store for all of Dublin's rivals in Leinster.

The sight of Jack McCaffrey (pictured) gliding across the ground in Gorey for his first inter-county game in almost a year was all he needed to see.

The 2015 Footballer of the Year did not feature for Dublin after their second League match of the year, having informed manager Jim Gavin that he would not around for part of the summer because of a planned trip to Africa where he worked for the GOAL charity. But he has since returned to the fold.

"He oozes class. He has a serious turn of pace. For that half-hour on the pitch he looked a class above everything around," said McEnaney.

"It's a serious asset to go back into a team that is after winning back-to-back All-Irelands. But take their third team on Sunday and what they did. It's unbelievable."

McCaffrey only played the first half before being withdrawn and restoration to the Dublin squad will pose a potential selection conundrum after John Small anchored himself so impressively in the left half-back position last year.

Wexford could face Dublin if they manage to beat Carlow in their opening Leinster Championship match later in the year.

For now McEnaney is happy with their start in the Bord na Mona O'Byrne Cup, a draw with UCD after falling four points behind at one stage. Ciaran Lyng only came on as a late substitute and McEnaney envisages him as being one of his most important players.

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