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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 22 September, 2018
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'His chance may come again, but for now he's not on the radar'

Marty Clarke shared his thoughts on teen sensation David Clifford and his decision to stay put with the Kingdom.

David Clifford.
David Clifford.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

FOR MUCH OF the weeks following the All-Ireland minor final, there was one name doing the rounds across the length and breadth of the country.

David Clifford truly lived up to his billing as one of the most talented minors in history, as he bagged 4-4 in a glittering performance in his side’s Croke Park win.

Even before that devastating display, there was no shortage of speculation and rumours linking the Fossa star with a move to the AFL.

In early October though, it was confirmed that he plans to stay on home soil.

On Friday and Saturday, Marty Clarke put 20 rising stars through their paces at the seventh annual AFL Europe Talent Combine at UCD.

And the former Down footballer and Collingwood half-back had his say on Clifford, saying he appears to have fallen off the rader of AFL clubs.

Marty Clarke Marty Clarke. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“I think Kerry have been fairly swift in trying to keep David Clifford because they’re hurting by losing to Dublin and he could be a key to them turning the tables,” he told the AFL website.

“His chance (in Australia) may come again if he has another good year or two, but for now he’s not on the radar.

He continued: “Without knowing him too well, I don’t think Australian Rules football would be overly suited to his style of play.

“That’s not to say he couldn’t make it, he’s a superb athlete and a great footballer.

“I haven’t spoken to David Clifford at all, but I’ve admired his performances for his college and for Kerry minors.”

As of now, there will be 13 Irish players on AFL lists in 2018 after Galway’s Cillian McDaid recently signed for Carlton.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

Third All-Ireland final defeat in four years – Mourneabbey return to the house of pain once more

A rip-roaring contest but only one winner – The rise to a second All-Ireland title in 3 years

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Emma Duffy

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