Jack McCaffrey claims first Man of the Match award

Jack McCaffrey claims first Man of the Match award
Jack McCaffrey celebrates with the Sam Maguire cup. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

By Cóilín Duffy

Dublin's Jack McCaffrey picked up the RTÉ All-Ireland Senior Football Final Man of the Match Award last night, after a fourth All-Ireland title in a row this afternoon.

It's the Clontarf clubman's first time picking up a Man of the Match award following an All-Ireland Senior Final performance.

McCaffrey received the Galway Crystal accolade live on RTÉ's 'The Sunday Game' from GAA President John Horan at their broadcast of the winners' banquet at the Gibson Hotel.

"Coming into today it was all about getting the result," he said.

"Winning an All-Ireland is an exceptionally unique thing to be able to do.

"Over the next couple of months we will obviously take a step back and take stock of where it fits into the whole context of things.

"But today, it's all about enjoying what this group has achieved and enjoying ourselves."

Speaking about what motivates this Dublin team for success, McCaffrey spoke about their close nature as a group.

"I can only speak for myself, but our motivation comes from principally where we are as a group.

"Every year when we come back in January or whenever it might be, it's great to share a dressing room with the lads that are here behind me. We never talk about the four-in-a-row or any of that kind of nonsense.

"It's all about how we are doing together, and how we are enjoying ourselves, and what you can do to make the person beside you look good."

McCaffrey was shortlisted for the award alongside fellow Dublin colleague's Ciarán Kilkenny and

On behalf of the judging panel, Tomás Ó Sé outlined the decision behind choosing the shortlisted players.

"Paul Mannion I think he has grown as the Championship has unfolded, a real leader who stood up today, and worked tirelessly back in defence.

He has done this all season long. It's a part of his game that he has worked on. Great composure to stick the penalty. It sparked Dublin into life and I love watching him play.

"Secondly we went for Jack McCaffrey. As a half-back, right now he probably is the best in the business. In the modern game you need that springboard, and after a serious injury last year, to come back the way he has he's an absolute winner.

"Then we went for Ciarán Kilkenny. Consistency is the word you would use with him always. His work-rate, his tackling, constantly making the runs. Three points from play today and he is a mainstay of the Dublin team."

The trio was among eight Dublin players chosen on The Sunday Game Football Team of the Year.

Stephen Cluxton, Jonny Cooper, James McCarthy, Brian Fenton and Brian Howard were also included on the selection.

Tyrone duo Padraig Hampsey and Colm Cavanagh; Monaghan pair Karl O'Connell and Conor McManus; along with Donegal's Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Galway's Shane Walsh and Kerry's David Clifford were also chosen.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Game panel chose Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny as their 'Footballer of the Year'.

Outgoing Sunday Game presenter Michael Lyster was also honoured on the night, receiving a signed match ball by the Dublin team from Dublin manager Jim Gavin; and GAA President John Horan honouring him with a special presentation of replica All-Ireland medals from 1984 and 2018.

Celebrations will continue this evening at Smithfield where the official Dublin team homecoming will take place.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring and Dublin City Council will host the event from 6.30pm, with access from North King Street, Friary Avenue and Thundercut Alley.

Dublin City Council is advising that public transport is used travelling to and from the event, and that the Smithfield Luas Stop may be closed between 6 and 8pm, but that the Luas stops at the Four Courts and Museum will remain open during this time.

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