James McCarthy targeting record-breaking ninth All-Ireland medal

“Definitely something there that I’d have in the back of my mind but I wouldn’t be thinking about it every day.”

James McCarthy is one of only two members of the current Dublin Gaelic football team to start in all eight of their All-Ireland final victories.

Stephen Cluxton and McCarthy have started every Dublin final dating back to 2011 and the Ballymun Kickhams star is aiming to win his ninth All-Ireland title this year.

No footballer has ever won nine All-Ireland’s before and McCarthy admitted that breaking the record is in the back of his mind.

James McCarthy could win his ninth All-Ireland medal in 2021.

“Look, we try to close the book on each season, but I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say, ‘Jesus, that’s something I’d love to achieve and something I have in my mind that I’d like to go after so yeah of course it would be’,” he said.

“But, I’ve been around long enough now to know that you just have to take each season as it comes and just focus in on the there and now and not be thinking ahead. If you think ahead you get caught.

“But, yeah, definitely something there that I’d have in the back of my mind but I wouldn’t be thinking about it every day.”

League football final is unlikely to be played.

McCarthy has won five national league medals as a Dublin footballer but he may not get a chance to add to it this year.

If Kerry beat Tyrone there will not be a league final, regardless of how Dublin fare against Donegal. The 31 year-old would be very disappointed if a league final wasn’t played.

“It would be terrible, like. I know any of the league finals I’ve played over the years, I remember all the games, really good games, really great matches. So, it would be an awful pity if that didn’t happen this year but I suppose the GAA’s hands are tied on it with the way the championship is set up,” McCarthy said.

“It would be an awful pity if there wasn’t a match that you had to play for to win the competition. We will see how it works out this weekend, there might still be (a final) if ourselves and Tyrone win so we’ll see how it works out.”

James McCarthy believes that teams could have played semi-finals on rest weekend.

The Dublin star thinks that the league semi-finals could have been played instead of having a rest weekend with McCarthy suggesting that teams would have been happy to play on successive weekends.

“We had a free weekend just gone by. I don’t think it’s any real issue with teams playing week on week. That could have been a weekend where you’d have had the semi-finals or whatever,” he said.

“Obviously the calendar was laid out a few weeks back and they’re being rigid and sticking to it. If it doesn’t happen it would be a pity that there’s no league final. Time is the issue I think. Nothing we can do about it now.”

James McCarthy was speaking at the launch of the Go-Ahead Ireland Dublin GAA leagues and championships.

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