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James McCarthy: Dublin players 'living like a hermit' to avoid coronavirus
GAA has said it may have to eliminate teams from the All-Ireland Championship if there is a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad
Last Updated: 16/10/20 4:35pm
James McCarthy says Dublin players are "living like a hermit" in order to avoid coronavirus, ahead of the intercounty season.
Given the narrow window to complete the All-Ireland Championship by December 19, the GAA has said it may have to eliminate teams from the competition if there is a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad.
And it is a prospect which the Dubs are doing everything in their power to avoid.
"You have to be really careful. We're taking every precaution we can, wearing masks inside, washing our hands, really restricting who you're seeing, especially now with the new regulations out and you can't even go to someone else's house," explained the Ballymun man.
"So it's just trying to be really careful. You're living like a bit of a hermit for the next few weeks."
Losing their All-Ireland title due to off-field complications would be a cruel way to go out.
"It's a very tough situation. You'd like to think that they'd surely postpone games and give teams a chance, if a team really is hit badly with loads of cases, you'd like to think that they'd incorporate that," he continued.
"But there's obviously that risk that it could happen to anyone on any teams, and it would be an awful pity if it did, it would take a bit of the gloss off or a bit away from the championship if teams had to step away.
"We'd certainly like to be taken out on the pitch more so than if something like that happened, absolutely."
Nonetheless, the seven-time All-Ireland winner is keeping his head down, hoping that the season goes ahead without any major hiccups.
"There is concerns there. You're looking at the numbers each day. There is a bit of worry there," he said, noting the onus on players to decide if they are happy to compete given the risks.
"It's up to individuals to weigh up how they feel about it. Nobody is forced to play. Nobody is forced to go in. You're going to make the call yourself if you feel it's the right thing to do or not.
"It's the health side to it as well, the mental side to it as well, playing sport, it gives everyone a lift. I know myself personally, I'd miss it terribly if I didn't have it. And I completely understand guys who don't feel it's right for them. They have to make those calls. I watched Novak Djokovic and [Rafael] Nadal playing last Sunday for three hours. It's great watching them go toe-to-toe. If there was nothing on every weekend, it would be a sad world to live in. It's up to the individual to make that call."
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For now, the Sky Blues are continuing their preparations for the Leinster Championship quarter-final against Westmeath, a game that will be live on Sky Sports Mix.
On Thursday, the Leinster Council announced it will take place in O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, rather than in the Lake County's home venue, something which disappoints McCarthy.
"We played there (Portlaoise) before. It'll be fine, it is what is, but it probably makes more sense to play it in Cusack Park in Westmeath and I don't know why they're not doing that, it doesn't make much sense," he added.
"[But] it will be fine, we'll play where we're told," he concluded.
Watch Inside The Game every Wednesday evening on Sky Sports Mix. You can catch up on this week's episode on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.