Jack McCaffrey pictured at an event at Croke Park last year. INPHO/OISIN KENIRY
Even before a ball is kicked, the 2020 championship had its first shock last weekend with the revelation that flying Dublin defender Jack McCaffrey has opted out of the campaign in search of an unprecedented six-in-a-row under new manager Dessie Farrell.
Arguably the finest footballer of his generation, the Clontarf player will be a massive loss to the holders, though he previously took a year out four years ago when Dublin made it back-to-back Sam Maguire wins.
His absence in 2020 is a major blow to the new Dublin boss in his first season in charge.
His ability has been recognized by being voted Young Footballer of the Year in 2013, and followed that up by being chosen the the Footballer-of-the-Year in 2015, man of the match awards in the last two finals and four All-Stars trophies.
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A recently qualified medical doctor in St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny, he had played only sparingly in the short league campaign earlier this year with a few substitute performances followed by injuries in those appearances.
— P.J. Cunningham