Dublin selector hopes Rory O'Carroll and Jack McCaffrey will return to the panel

The two 2015 All-Stars have missed the 2016 season for personal reasons

BY Daniel Kelly 09:51 Wednesday 14 September 2016, 9:51 14 Sep 2016

Dublin manager Jim Gavin with selector Declan D'Arcy Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Dublin have reached their fourth All-Ireland final in the last six years, and are hopeful of defending their title for the first time since 1977.

The team have reached this year's final relatively unscathed, but have missed two of their All-Star defenders including the 2015 Footballer of the Year. Rory O'Carroll is in New Zealand to work and travel, while Jack McCaffrey took a year out to focus on his medical studies, which included volunteering work in Africa.

Despite reaching the All-Ireland final without the two stars, Dublin selector Declan Darcy has revealed the two would be welcomed back into the camp with open arms should they want to return.

The former Leitrim captain was speaking to GAA.ie ahead of the All-Ireland Final against Mayo, and he hopes to see the two play in blue again, in the future.

"We’d love to have them but if they want to go that’s their decision but we have to back them because they were part of the group and hopefully maybe they will be part of the group in the future."

O'Carroll and McCaffrey are aged 26 and 22 respectively. Darcy feels younger players will move away from inter-county setups to improve their own personal development.

"You can see why they say 'I’ve just had enough if this now, I just want to go.' We can totally understand it, and I think it’s going to happen more. GAA teams will have to be…I mean [Armagh's] Jamie Clarke decided to head off and I think there’s going to be a lot more of that within groups."

If Dublin are to beat Mayo on Sunday, they will do it without O'Carroll and McCaffrey. That doesn't mean the two wont be lining out in Croke Park in the future if Darcy has his way.

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