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McCarthy 'shocked' by Sam celebrations

DUBLIN footballer James McCarthy admits he has been "shocked" by the scale of the public reaction to their All-Ireland SFC triumph last September.

The wing-back also intimated that the players have enjoyed their fill of celebratory functions and can't wait to get back into the more spartan swing of collective training for their Sam Maguire defence next year.

"I was a bit shocked at how big (the celebrations) were," McCarthy admitted. "It took me by surprise how big it was for a couple of weeks afterwards. You were getting calls to do this and do that, go to this school and that one.

"The week after, especially, you were on cloud nine, but a couple of weeks after it was like, 'I just want to play football'. I was actually delighted to go back and play club for a while."

By McCarthy's estimation, he visited 20 different schools around Ballymun, Finglas and Glasnevin during a period covering just two or three days. And the Ballymun Kickhams defender reckons some of his more high-profile team-mates have endured a far more hectic schedule in the two-and-a-bit months since Dublin lifted Sam for the first time in 16 years. I wouldn't be like the rest of the lads, wouldn't be going to all of the functions," he added.

"I'd say some of them are sick of it. I'd say Bernard (Brogan) has it up to here now. I'd pick and choose where I go to."

The good news for the Sky Blue camp is that they can now enjoy two weeks of 'R&R', as they jetted out yesterday for their team holidays, taking in parts of the US and the Cayman Islands.