Saturday 10 December 2016

Jack McCaffrey planning 2017 comeback but no Dublin return for All Star fullback Rory O'Carroll

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Published 17/09/2016 | 02:30

Doubts surround the inter-county future of Rory O'Carroll, with the All-Star defender not expected to return to the Dublin fold in 2017, according to former team-mate Jack McCaffrey.

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O'Carroll left Jim Gavin's squad in January and McCaffrey is led to believe that he will take at least another year out, which would be a major blow to the Dubs.

"My understanding of it is that Rory isn't available for next year, but I'm not 100pc sure. He went away for work. I'm not sure how that side of things will pan out for him," he said.

"But if he comes back. . . I'm sure he'll try his best to get involved. If he doesn't, you can't really question his reasons, he's trying to make a few quid.

"It would be great to play alongside him again at some point but if it doesn't happen I've really enjoyed being a friend and a team-mate of his over the last few years."

McCaffrey expected O'Carroll's absence to hurt Dublin this year but Davey Byrne, Philly McMahon and Jonny Cooper have coped admirably.

"Rory would have been in my mind undoubtedly a bigger loss than me. If anyone had come in and tried to copy what Rory did it would have gone very, very badly for them. The three lads didn't do that, they just kept playing their own game, and it's different and it's equally effective."

The 2015 Footballer of the Year also explained that if Dublin call on him to return next season, he will be happy to rejoin the panel.

"I'm loving the club football now and we have Sigerson kicking off soon enough, we've the league and that, and if Dublin were to ask me back in I'd absolutely love to give it another lash," he reveals.

"Re-energise is probably a fair way to describe it, it would be great to go again and watching the lads and enjoying - hopefully - the win in the final, it would really make you want to get back yourself. So I'm looking forward to it."

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