McCarthy: Crop of 2010 will have decisions to make

by Aaron Dunne
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Dublin 1-15

Kerry 1-13

Newly minted nine-time All-Ireland James McCarthy admitted that plenty of players had decisions to make after the Dubs regained Sam after a three-year gap.

With both Stephen Cluxton and Jack McCaffrey, as well as Paul Mannion, returning to the fold after two years in presumed retirement, the narrative had grown that the great Dublin side of the 2010s were determined to land one more title before jetting off into the sunset.

As he sipped from the Guinness presented to him at the outset of the press conference, a reflective McCarthy didn’t do much to quieten the narrative, his tone suggesting that an exodus was in the offing.

“Who knows, who knows, maybe…” McCarthy said when asked if this was the last victory for this crop.

“Look, It’s not a bad way to probably wrap it up, is it? We’ll see.

“But look, there’s a lot of guys to make decisions. There’s a lot of guys who’ve to make decisions in the next couple of months. But we’ll see what happens. Let’s just enjoy this one.”

Seated beside his manager Dessie Farrell, McCarthy stressed that a key part of the motivation for getting back on top was answering the criticism meted out to the Dublin boss, who took over a gradually ageing side after Jim Gavin’s flawless reign.

And he said that it was at his own wedding last Christmas, that he and a few players resolved to “get a few boys back”.

“I just thought some of the shots on him over the last few years were disgraceful, to be honest with you,” McCarthy said of Farrell.

“It’s always on the players who cross that white line out there. We lost two All-Ireland semi-finals, one by a kick of a ball, one in extra-time.

“The margins are tight, they’re very, very tight. We’ve come on the other side of them [tight games] plenty of times as well.

“We were ferociously disappointed the last two seasons. They hurt. They really did hurt.

“But we gathered at the start of the year. We’d a bit of a chat at the wedding and we said we’d try and get a few boys back and they made a big difference as well.

“But not just them. You see Cian Murphy coming on as well, he was absolutely exceptional. Sean MacMahon breaking lines and driving forward. It was a real team performance that got us over the line.

“I’m so happy for this man [Farrell]. His care for everyone is truly special. It’s a big one for us.”

“There was a lot of negative talk after we did the five/six in a row about the finances and money and stuff like that.

“I just think it’s bullshit. But everyone will have their say on that.

“To come back after being knocked down twice. And people thinking that your time has passed.

“But I knew we were still good enough to win it. I’d no doubt in my mind. Just get a few pieces together, try and drive a few young lads on.”


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