Monday 26 September 2016

Exclusive: Jack McCaffrey rules out playing for Dublin in 2016 championship despite August return from Africa

Dermot Crowe

Published 09/07/2016 | 21:29

Dublin Footballer Jack Mc Caffrey Goal trip to Ethiopia
Picture By David Conachy.
Dublin Footballer Jack Mc Caffrey Goal trip to Ethiopia Picture By David Conachy.

Reigning Footballer of the Year Jack McCaffrey has ruled out returning to the Dublin panel this season, after he flies home from Africa on August 18.

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McCaffrey, 22, caused a shock when opting off the panel in the spring, taking a break from inter-county football, having played in some of Dublin's earlier league games.

He travelled to Addis Ababa last month, representing GOAL as an ambassador in Ethiopia, before flying on to other parts of Africa including Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.

Asked if there was a remote chance he might return were Dublin still in the championship, McCaffrey replied: “No, I can’t see myself involved at all this year.”

McCaffrey added he felt it was the right time for him to take a break from football.

“I’ve loved every second of playing football since I was four,” he said. “And you know that hasn’t changed since I became an inter-county footballer. If anything it has become more enjoyable. Look, I’m sure there are some players in some inter-county set-ups who aren’t enjoying it as much. But I can only speak from my experience and it’s been a great time.”

McCaffrey has completed four years of his medicine studies in UCD and won a Sigerson Cup medal with the college this year.

Last year’s footballer of the year, Jack McCaffrey stunned fans in March when he quit the Dublin panel and a shot at another All-Ireland medal to spend time working in Africa. Dermot Crowe and David Conachy travelled to Ethiopia with the medical student and in this week’s Sunday Independent, tell the story of a remarkable young man who hopes to wear the famous blue jersey again but realises there is more to life than football.

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