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Thursday 13 December 2018

McCaff' lost sleep over FOTY vote

Jack McCaffrey celebrates with his father Noel following Dublin's All-Ireland victory. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Jack McCaffrey celebrates with his father Noel following Dublin's All-Ireland victory. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Jack McCaffrey admits two interesting things about his voting patterns for the Footballer of the Year award.

Firstly, in a remarkable display of honesty, he reveals that he "voted for myself" in 2015, the season he won the award.

Yet despite being shortlisted for this year's gong, McCaffrey says he "did lose sleep over," how to cast his vote.

"I voted for someone that wasn't me," is as close as McCaffrey comes to disclosing his selection.

"That's the most diplomatic way of saying it. To be honest, in 2015, I voted for myself but this year, I didn't think I deserved it so I voted for one of the other fellas."

In the end Brian Fenton won (ahead of McCaffrey and Ciarán Kilkenny), a development that wasn't the least bit surprising given his amazing career arc but somewhat so in context of Kilkenny's 2018.

Kilkenny, another of the 1993-born group, finished the year as the Championship's top-scorer from play while statistics released after the final revealed the scarcely-fathomable fact that he was successful with 169 of 170 attempted passes.

"I did lose sleep over that vote because I thought the two lads were really, really deserving of it," McCaffrey insists.

"Ciarán for us is just the model of consistency.

"Not that 'Fento' isn't but Ciarán is so reliable, so solid, and his scoring game has come on massively this year.

"The Player of the Year thing is a bit of a popularity contest, to be honest. I honestly think it was a toss-up. The two of them are really good friends, I am sure they are going to slag each other about it and I don't think they will fall out over it.

Dublin's Brian Fenton. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin's Brian Fenton. Photo: Sportsfile

"It is not the be all and end all for us. We won the All-Ireland, everything else is bonus territory.

"It is incredible and I know 'Fento' is really, really proud of it and it was an amazing achievement for him and his family.

"But it won't be a driving force for him or anybody next season," he adds.

McCaffrey also reckons the theory about Fenton's development is untrue, despite the fact that the Raheny midfielder never played minor for Dublin.

"It's funny, 'Fento' never played minor and made the break-through from under-21 but it was a misconception that he was a late bloomer," McCaffrey outlines.

"Brian was one of the best footballers all the way along and then he had awful trouble with his knees and probably didn't grow as quickly as the rest of us.

"A couple of things came together to hold him back but back at under-15, he was a brilliant footballer."

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