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# Next Level
Kerry teen sensation Clifford in line to make senior bow in 2018 National League
Kerry legend Jack O’Connor was speaking about the talented 18-year-old on Off The Ball AM.

KERRY SENSATION DAVID Clifford could be in line to make his debut for the Kerry seniors in the 2018 National Football League, according to the county’s U20 boss Jack O’Connor.

Clifford was a formidable force at minor level and captained the county to a fourth consecutive All-Ireland crown earlier this year, scoring an incredible 4-4 against Derry in the decider.

There were concerns that AFL clubs were planning to poach the Fossa forward earlier in the season, but Clifford committed his immediate future with the Kingdom back in October to bring relief to Kerry fans.

But as Clifford makes the transition out of the minor grade, there is some uncertainty as to which path he will take next in the next step of his inter-county career.

The new U20 All-Ireland football championship has come in to replace the U21 grade, and will run from June to August. However, any player listed on a senior inter-county championship panel in that season will not be eligible to compete in the U20 competition.

O’Connor would love to have Clifford available for selection, but speaking to Off The Ball AM on Newstalk, he admitted that the 18-year-old may link up with the Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s senior panel.

“We’ve had a chat about it along with the chairman Tim Murphy.

“More than anything else, I’d love to have David Clifford involved with the Kerry U20s next year because he could be the difference between winning it and not winning it.

He’s such a remarkable talent (and) the least he deserves is a go with the Kerry seniors in the National League. The National League will tell whether he’s up to the level or not.

“He will get to the level but whether he’s up to that level this year remains to be seen.”

O’Connor added that Clifford is one of the past Kerry minors he has seen in the past few decades, and even drew a comparison with former Kerry legend Seamus Moynihan.

“He’s the best minor we’ve seen over the last 20 or 30 years and the only minor that I can think of that was as dominant as him as a Kerry minor was Seamus Moynihan.

“He was a senior six months after playing minor so it remains to be seen he (Clifford) is a remarkable talent but if he doesn’t make the cut this year, he’ll certainly make it in the next year or so.”

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