James McCarthy a reluctant spectator as Dubs roll on
DUBLIN All-lreland winner James McCarthy hates to stand idly by while Dublin defend their Allianz Football League title, but he has no choice because he lost a battle with a guy named Gilmore.
Well, to be more specific, it's a wear and tear issue identified as 'Gilmore's groin' that has sidelined the Ballymun Kickhams star for another few weeks.
Jerry Gilmore is the Consultant Surgeon who, in 1980, first identified the complex condition in the pelvic and groin region of the body that has been named after him.
McCarthy had struggled through 2013 and 2014 for his club and with Dublin before finally opting for surgery.
"I had a job done there before Christmas. It was something I had to get done for Gilmore's groin, and my abductor as well. It was bothering me for an extended time," said McCarthy.
McCarthy, 24, was one of the success stories who came through from the 2010 All-Ireland U-21 victory to make it at the top grade with the Dubs in 2011 and 2013.
The challenge now is staying in the team, and he concedes that absence through injury does not help his ambitions of winning more trophies.
"Of course you'd worry that someone might take your place because the competition in the squad is great down there at the moment.
"If you're out too long you'd be under pressure to get your place back. You just try and get back as soon as you can," said McCarthy.
Donegal come calling to Croke Park tomorrow night for the first time since they dethroned the Dubs in last year's All-Ireland semi-final.
Manager Jim Gavin said the lessons were learned soon afterwards and Dublin have moved on, mentally and emotionally as a group.
McCarthy gave an insight into the way he, as an individual, dealt with the aftermath of the shock result of the football year.
For him, part of the process was actually sitting down and watching a recording of the game on television, which is something many players prefer to avoid.
"I have watched it once or twice, trying to make up my own mind as to where we went wrong.
"I'd like not to watch it because it is tough, it is hard. It was a devastating loss. You have to face it, try and pick up a few things from it. It's not easy but you have to do it.
"The one against Mayo in 2012 was very hard as well. You're so close to reaching a final, so to slip up at the last step is tough, but it's not the end of the world. Nobody died.
"It takes a few weeks to get over and then you get back with the club," he said.
Dublin's ambitions of winning two consecutive All-Ireland titles foundered on the bulwark of Donegal's defensive structure and their lightning counter-attacks, but so-called 'failure' to follow 2013 with victory in 2014 is relative, in McCarthy's opinion.
"It's just so hard to do. Even the two All-Irelands that we won, we won by a point. People think they're easy - I'll tell you what, there's a lot of work goes in to try and win an All-Ireland, and even more so with back-to-back," he said.
He also reminded us, as did Gavin this week, that Dublin have won five of the last six competitions they entered. McCarthy also reflected on those two attempts to retain the All-Ireland.
"I think we were better prepared last year maybe than 2012. We had the experience of 2012 to fall back on. The party probably went on a bit too long in 2012.
"In 2013, we were tuned right in, then last year we thought we were unbelievably prepared.
"It just turned out that Donegal bet us on the day. Hands up, we've no complaints.
"Maybe we could have won it as well, but that's the way it goes in sport."