09 Nov 2015
UCD’s Sigerson Captain, Jack McCaffrey was named Footballer of the Year and was named as one of the seven Dublin All Stars at this year’s GAA-GPA football All Stars Awards at the Convention Centre on Friday night.
Jack McCaffrey was named Young Footballer of the Year in 2013 and at the barely credible age of 22, one would expect the Dublin man to take home an armful of similar accolades in the future.
McCaffrey was outstanding for Dublin this year earning recognition for his performances for Dublin in the Allianz Football League during the spring campaign that ended in a third successive title for the county. The spring-heeled wing back was phenomenal as the second trophy of the year was gathered in the Leinster final and McCaffrey scored one of the goals against Westmeath.
He then dragged himself through the All-Ireland final win over Kerry despite a serious midweek bout of food poisoning.
Jack paid tribute to “unbelievable” Dublin manager Jim Gavin after collecting the award.
The defender took the honour after an outstanding summer which ended in the Dubs lifting Sam Maguire.
McCaffrey was a key figure in his county’s 25th All-Ireland SFC triumph, but insisted he and his team-mates merely follow in the footsteps of Dublin’s management team.
“Jim’s unbelievable,” McCaffrey said.
“Dublin have been lucky to have had a few very good managers but Jim is the man I’ve done most of my playing under.
“He’s so practical in what he does, it’s so simplistic. We focus on every game as it comes – be it an O’Byrne Cup match or an All-Ireland final, we run through the exact same process, take to the pitch in the exact same way and try to perform as best we can.
“It all emanates down from Jim and the rest of the management are excellent as well. They lead and we follow in their footsteps.”
McCaffrey emphasised that Dublin’s primary goal every year was to win the All-Ireland and highlighted the team spirit and collective drive that has delivered the goods.
“This is an unbelievable honour, but it comes at the end of us winning the All-Ireland, which was our primary goal,” he said.
“It could have been any Dublin lad – once we won Sam Maguire we were going to be very happy how this year went.
“The last couple of years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. We just go every year and focus on every game. One of Jim's key ethoses is to focus game by game. These things come as a result of that.”
UCD were well represented on the night as Sigerson Vice-Captain, Monaghans Ryan Wylie was nominated for Young Player of the Year. Unfortunately the award went to Mayo’s Diarmuid O’Connor.
All Stars were also in abundance for UCD as in addition to Jack McCaffrey, Rory O’Carroll, Brian Fenton, Cian O’Sullivan (all Dublin Football) and Cillian Buckley (Kilkenny Hurling) all received All Star Awards. Laois’ Donie Kingston was also nominated for an All Star but missed out on the night.