James McCarthy impressed with emerging Dublin talent
By Cian O'Connell
Since James McCarthy's emergence the Dublin football tale has been about success and silverware.
It is a truly special time in the capital, McCarthy and his colleagues are completely aware of that, but ensuring there is a correct balance in their daily lives is key.
That is always an important message from Jim Gavin, who steered Dublin to a fifth Allianz Football League title in six years this month. "Jim always says it's your family, your work and then your football," the Ballymun Kickhams clubman admits.
"If them things ain't right, you're football's not going to be right. It's very important you have it - and I suppose it's one of the reasons why we split up after the League is to have that bit of a break and focus back on your clubs and with your family, or get a holiday if you can.
"All those little things. It is very important. It's about getting the right balance. It's hard juggling it at times, but once you get the balance right it's definitely a good thing."
Pleasure is taken from the journey and McCarthy is looking forward to hitting the road again for Dublin's Leinster Championship opener against the winners of Wicklow and Offaly. "Absolutely," McCarthy replies. "It's great for us, really enjoyable. Portlaoise last year and Nowlan Park the year before, it's great to play in these different grounds and get out of Croke Park sometimes.
"I think they're talking about Tullamore or Portlaoise this year so hopefully we'll get down to enjoy. That's the great thing about the League, you're going to places like Castlebar, Killarney and all these great places to play.
"They're tough places to go and really enjoyable games. Really looking forward, we'll enjoy them games. Hopefully we'll have a few nice away trips this year."
Eoin Murchan and Brian Howard have joined Colm Basquel and Con O'Callaghan from a talented All Ireland Under 21 winning outit in the senior ranks.
"They're bringing a bit of added energy and excitement to the group," McCarthy admits. "They're doing really well and it's great to get guys stepping up year after year and being hungry for it.
"They're doing really well, had a great League campaign. I'm sure they'll be looking to push on when we get back after the club.
"It's great to see for the older lads in Dublin, seeing guys like that. It's great experience to get all those games during the League.
"Jim has shown, he picks guys on form - the guys that are doing well, they'll continue to play. It's a great place to be in this, to know that if you're playing well, you'll get a chance.
"That's just the way it is and the way it's always been. In fairness to the guys, they've done really well and if they keep going the way they are, they'll continue it during the summer."