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DUBLIN STAR RETIRES Paddy Andrews calls time on Dublin career that had 'so many memorable moments'

It’s been an amazing journey being part of such an incredible group of people over that period,” he explained in a statement released via the Dublin county board’s website.

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Paddy Andrews and Philip McMahon celebrate after Dublin's All-Ireland success last December

Paddy Andrews and Philip McMahon celebrate after Dublin's All-Ireland success last December

Paddy Andrews of Dublin lifts the Sam Maguire Cup following Dublin's All-Ireland victory in 2019

Paddy Andrews of Dublin lifts the Sam Maguire Cup following Dublin's All-Ireland victory in 2019

Paddy Andrews found Colm Cooper a handful in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final

Paddy Andrews found Colm Cooper a handful in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final

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Paddy Andrews and Philip McMahon celebrate after Dublin's All-Ireland success last December

Paddy Andrews has called time on his inter-county career, announcing on Thursday morning an end to a 12-year stint with the Dublin senior footballers, during which he won seven All-Ireland medals.

It is anticipated that there will be further Dublin retirements in the coming days.

“It’s been an amazing journey being part of such an incredible group of people over that period,” he explained in a statement released via the Dublin county board’s website.”

“To Pillar, Pat, Jim, Dessie and their coaches, I’d like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to represent the Dublin team and experience so many special moments.”

Andrews, now 32, overcame the bitter disappointment of being dropped from the Dublin squad by Pat Gilroy before their All-Ireland win in 2011 to become a mainstay of the team’s attack under Jim Gavin.

“Pat just said, ‘you’re not giving us enough,’ he recalled in a 2019 interview.

“Go away and decide what you really want to do. If you’re willing to pay the price to do that’. I didn’t know what it took to win All-Irelands. And looking back now, you cringe, of course. I just didn’t do enough, in preparing or getting the best out of myself.”

Prior to that, he was a member of the Dublin full-back line in 2009 in their watershed All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kerry, after which Gilroy infamously described his players’ performance as being akin to “startled earwigs.”

Despite making a name for himself as a forward with St Brigid’s and with Dublin’s under-age teams, he was tasked with marking Colm Cooper in that game after David Henry suffered an early injury.

“I remember Colin Moran was a selector,” he explained.

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Paddy Andrews found Colm Cooper a handful in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final

Paddy Andrews found Colm Cooper a handful in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final

Paddy Andrews found Colm Cooper a handful in the 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final

“He’d just retired. He ran on and he said, ‘Henno’s after getting a bang. You’re going over to mark the Gooch.’ I was like, ‘The Gooch!’ That was my reaction!”

Despite this setback, he became a key component of the Dublin attack under Gavin, albeit a largely unsung one, starting the 2013, ’15, ’16 and ’17 All-Ireland finals amid intense competition for places.

He was Man of the Match in Dublin’s replayed All-Ireland semi-final victory over Mayo in 2015, kicking 0-5 from play having been marked for the majority of that game by Keith Higgins.

In 2018, Andrews experienced a reduction in game time, with Con O’Callaghan, Niall Scully and Brian Howard all establishing themselves in a reconfigured Dublin attack.

“Last year was one of the first years when I probably didn’t play as much in the latter end of the season, and that’s difficult, of course; it’s difficult for any player,” he admitted in an interview in 2019.

“But you see the calibre of player that we have and some of the guys are in some phenomenal form. And that’s all you can go on, really.”

He also suffered a broken jaw in March of 2019 in a collision with Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan in a League game in Croke Park, an incident which incensed Gavin.

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Paddy Andrews of Dublin lifts the Sam Maguire Cup following Dublin's All-Ireland victory in 2019

Paddy Andrews of Dublin lifts the Sam Maguire Cup following Dublin's All-Ireland victory in 2019

Paddy Andrews of Dublin lifts the Sam Maguire Cup following Dublin's All-Ireland victory in 2019

Last year’s December All-Ireland final was the first time Andrews did not make Dublin’s matchday 26 for a decider.

“I’d also like to thank my club St Brigid’s for their support and all the coaches & members down in Russell Park,” Andrews statement reads.

“To my family, friends and in particular my parents Pat and Angela and my fiancée Doireann, I owe a huge debt for their constant belief in me through so many highs and lows.

“A special thanks to our phenomenal supporters for their unwavering belief and encouragement over so many years, good and bad.

“Finally, to my teammates, it was the highest privilege to share the journey with you all. All the best for the road ahead. Paddy."

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