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"I Was Really Pissed Off" - Jack McCaffrey On Change In Approach That Led To Brilliant 2015 Season

"I Was Really Pissed Off" - Jack McCaffrey On Change In Approach That Led To Brilliant 2015 Season
By Conor Neville
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The intolerant slave-driving approach to coaching footballers is fallen violently out of fashion this weather. Jack McCaffrey's account of why he enjoyed such a stellar year in 2015 supports this new mood.

Bouncing back from an indifferent season in 2014, McCaffrey won the Footballer of the Year award to go along with another All-Ireland title in 2015. As the entire GAA world knows, he has taken a summer out in 2016, travelling to Africa and only returning home last Friday.

He appeared on this week's edition of the Hard Shoulder, Balls.ie's weekly podcast.

On the pod, he talked about how his conscious decision to adopt a much more relaxed attitude to football paid dividends in the 2015 season.

An all-consuming attitude was something I definitely had in mid-2012 when I got called in (to the county setup) and then in 2013 and 2014.

But in 2015, which was undoubtedly my best season with Dublin, I made a conscious decision at the start of the year to have a much more relaxed approach to football and take a step back from pouring all you energy into it.

Well at the start of that year I was playing Sigerson. 2014 hadn't been my best year personally. 2015, I made a very simple goal to play every minute for Dublin. There wasn't any 'improve your right foot', 'improve your fitness', it was just I want to be on the pitch every minute Dublin are playing.

I remember I'd a Sigerson game on the Wednesday, we played Donegal on the Saturday night and I'd a Sigerson game the following Wednesday. And Jim left me on the bench for the game against Donegal. And he explained to me that I had 'x' amount of games and resting... But Jesus, I was so annoyed.  I got home and I couldn't even talk to my parents and had to go for a walk. I was really, really pissed off.

I realised that was a silly way to be and it's certainly not beneficial. A lot of players have a relaxed attitude towards things. There's a very healthy knowledge that football isn't the be-all and end-all. So I just tried to adopt that and it reaped dividends for me, anyway.

On the pod, he also talked about

  • why he opted out of the 2016 season
  • the "ominous silence coming out of Kerry"
  • his summer in Africa

Listen below:

Jack was speaking on the sixth episode of this year's Hard Shoulder podcast, a weekly GAA podcast hosted by Meath legend Anthony Moyles. The podcast will run for the rest of the season and will feature many more special guests, and scientists [citation needed] believe it will improve your life by somewhere in the region of 84%.


In addition to the big interview, we quiz our guests and discuss some of the big stories to arise from the past week.

Previous interviewees include Dublin's Bernard Brogan, Kildare forward Johnny Doyle, Wexford's Matty Forde, and the Sunday Game's Michael Lyster. Listen here.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

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