‘I think what broke me was the drawn final’ – McCaffrey speaks out on leaving Dublin football squad

Updated Dec 9th 2020, 9:35 PM

JACK MCCAFFREY HAS spoken out about his departure from Dublin’s football setup, stating ‘the fun had gone out of the whole thing’ and he had been left ‘drained’ by the effort involved in last year’s All-Ireland final and replay.

McCaffrey’s exit was announced in late June and he has outlined the thinking behind his decision in an interview with former team-mate Bernard Brogan on his podcast series for Off The Ball.

The Clontarf club man has been one of the best footballers in the game in recent seasons. He collected five All-Ireland senior medals in Dublin colours, won three All-Star awards and was Footballer of the Year in 2015.

Last year he scored 1-3 from play in Dublin’s drawn final against Kerry but will be absent on Saturday week when they take on Mayo in the 2020 decider.

EXCLUSIVE: ’The fun had gone out of the whole thing… I think the All Ireland Final broke me.’

Fascinating chat with Jack McCaffrey on The Bernard Brogan Podcast this week 🎙️

With @SuperValuIRL #SupportWhereYoureFrom | Listen here ➡️ https://t.co/t6jhdzziSu pic.twitter.com/l6XVRZPf36

— Off The Ball (@offtheball) December 9, 2020

“Something just wasn’t right and it probably wasn’t right since halfway through the summer last year when I just felt the fun had gone out of the whole thing really,” said McCaffrey when speaking to Brogan.

“I wasn’t looking forward to training. I’ve spoken in interviews before about the love I had for the group and that was always true but it just kind of suddenly wasn’t really any more just because of changes in my life as opposed to anywhere else.

“And then I think what broke me was the drawn final. You just build everything to this game and it went quite well on a personal level. Obviously we didn’t win, we didn’t lose thank God, but I was walking up to the ref, I thought there was extra-time and David Moran just stuck his hand out to shake my hand and I was just like, ‘We don’t have to do this again, do we?’

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“I was so drained by that and I never really got it back.”

Jack McCaffrey lifts the Sam Maguire in 2019.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

McCaffrey praised his ‘incredible colleagues’ in Temple Street for helping him to juggle his work as a doctor and commitments as an inter-county footballer last summer. But he referenced a day between the drawn final and replay when he stayed on in work rather than go training with his Dublin team-mates as an example of his appetite for the game starting to wane.

He decided to give it a go again in 2020 when Dessie Farrell took over as Dublin senior boss after developing a strong bond with him during his underage days but that rekindle his passion for the game and he opted to move on in June.

  • You can listen to the full interview here on The Bernard Brogan Podcast on the OTB Sports website.

Subscribe to The42′s new member-led GAA Championship show with Marc Ó Sé and Shane Dowling. 

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