Tuesday 22 January 2019

Jack's the lad for big occasion

It will probably take an act of God to dethrone Dublin in their five-in-a-row quest which would set them apart even from the great Kerry team of the late 70s and early 80s.

Maybe something like a leak in the Gibson Hotel roof which resulted in Jack McCaffrey, Sunday Game stalwart Michael Lyster and GAA president John Horan being just seconds away from being drenched to the skin after water had come crashing down on the canopy behind them.

Not that it dampened the spirits of the Dublin party, or Player of the Match Jack McCaffrey.

Currently on the staff of paediatric team in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, McCaffrey has the world at his feet but takes it all in his stride and that has not always been easy after he hobbled off in last year's final win over Mayo.

For McCaffrey, though, the glass has always been half-full, as was witnessed during last year's post-match celebrations, and the Clontarf man says it will be more of the same this year.

'Listen, I enjoyed myself last year and I'll enjoy myself this year,' he said.

Nonetheless, the pacy wing back insists talk of the four-in-a-row was the furthest thing on Dublin's mind going into Sunday's decider.

'To be honest, coming into today it was all about getting the result. Winning an All-Ireland is an exceptionally unique thing to do. Over the next couple of months we will take a couple of steps back and take stock of the overall concept of things, but today is all about what this group has achieved.

For Dublin defender Philly McMahon, Dublin's All-Ireland win held extra significance for him following the passing of his father in July.

'These lads gave me a gift last year, my dad could see me win the All-Ireland. He was here in spirit today.

'There's plenty of people who are probably not here who would love to be here to watch us. So we're just grateful for what we have.'

Dublin prevailed in the end, with captain Stephen Cluxton, who lifted the Sam Maguire for a fourth time on Sunday, remaining level headed as ever.

'To be honest it's a privilege. I've been around long enough and seen some bad days, and to have the lads coming through, you know they can just look after themselves, they don't need a captain.

'You know, I have to say each and every one of them is driven by their own expectation and it makes life easy for me.'

'To be honest I dont have the vocabulary to say how proud I am because they just work so hard.'

Fingal Independent