Cafferkey calls it a day with Mayo

GAA: News

Time to say goodbye: Ger Cafferkey has called time on his Mayo career after ten years, 104 games, six Connacht titles, 1 All-Star, 1 All Ireland u21 title and three Connacht u21 titles. Photo: Sportsfile

Time to say goodbye: Ger Cafferkey has called time on his Mayo career after ten years, 104 games, six Connacht titles, 1 All-Star, 1 All Ireland u21 title and three Connacht u21 titles. Photo: Sportsfile

Ger Cafferkey called time on his ten-year senior inter-county career this week after 104 appearances in the green and red of Mayo.

The Ballina Stephenites man first came to the attention of the wider Mayo GAA public as part of the 2005 Mayo minor side that contested that year's All Ireland final, where they lost out to Down in Croke Park. That group of minor players featured a number of future Mayo stars, with Chris Barrett, Tom Cunniffe and Seamus O'Shea all going on to have long senior inter-county careers.

The following year Cafferkey made the immediate step up to the u21 grade where he once again wore the number three shirt in a team that went all the way to win the All Ireland title, seeing off Cork in the final in Ennis - a side that along with O'Shea and Cunniffe, who also graduated straight from the minor team with Cafferkey, was packed with future Mayo stalwarts like Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Barry Moran, Enda Varley and Mark Ronaldson. Cafferkey went on to win Connacht u21 medals again in 2007 and 2008.

He made his senior inter-county debut on his home patch of James Stephens Park in February 2009 when Mayo lost 0-10 to 1-9 to Derry at full-back - a position he made his own for the majority of the rest of the decade as an intelligent and sticky defender. He made his championship debut in May that year in Gaelic Park in New York and went on to win the first of six Connacht Senior Football Championship medals that year in Mayo's 2-12 to 1-14 win over Galway.

In 2012 he was an All Star at full back, following Mayo's drive to the All Ireland final against Donegal - the first of three All Ireland finals he played for Mayo in, starting in 2012 and 2013 and coming off the bench in the 2017 final - he missed the 2016 final after picking up a hamstring injury in the league that year against Roscommon.

The last championship outing for Mayo came in 2018 when Mayo crashed out of the championship at the hands of Kildare in Newbridge - his last outing for Mayo in MacHale Park came during the league this year against Cavan, where he picked up the man-of-the-match award; in the following game against Dublin he was forced off early with injury and that was his last occasion to represent the county.

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