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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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'He inspires people around him, Stephen is well able to talk, he’s very articulate'

Jim Gavin hailed the Dublin captain and his team-mates for their role in tonight’s success.

Stephen Cluxton celebrates with Jim Gavin after the game.
Stephen Cluxton celebrates with Jim Gavin after the game.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

ANOTHER ALL-IRELAND final and another pivotal Stephen Cluxton save to help steer Dublin towards success.

His block halted Stephen O’Brien’s drive for Kerry in the second half tonight at Croke Park, an intervention which was of no surprise to his manager.

Afterwards Jim Gavin shone a light on the level of preparation the Dublin goalkeeper puts in.

“That’s the result of hundreds of hours. I’ve seen that, if you look back on his stance, that’s not the first time I’ve seen that. Josh Moran, his goalkeeping coach, and the goalkeeping coaches that have worked with him deserve credit for that. That’s something that you see replicated. I saw it earlier on this week.

“I saw it the day after the (drawn game), him spending two hours on the pitch with Evan Comerford and Michael Shiels from Sylvester’s, the goalkeeping coach. The three of them working on trying to rectify his positioning for Killian Spillane’s goal in the first game. He had a bloody laptop, trying to replay in slow motion what way his feet and positioning were.

“So that’s someone who’s dedicated to their craft, and the result of that is what you see in those clutch moments, to have that composure to make himself big and strong and just do his job. That’s what Stephen does – he does his job.

“That somebody who’s a master of his craft. Through that example, he inspires people around him. Stephen is well able to talk, he’s very articulate and people listen. But how he demonstrates, his actions, that’s what I’m interested in. That’s what he does. He’s a do-er.”

Cluxton was part of a Dublin group that got the job done at the second attempt after a pulsating draw with Kerry a fortnight ago. Gavin hailed the character of his players at triumphing in the replay.

“When you are playing a team like Kerry, they have really asked questions of the guys over the last two games. There was obviously great expectation going into it, I’m just delighted for the players really. When there was questions asked of them in both games that they were able to come up with the answers. Whatever about reputations and what people from the outside think of them, they really showed their character for me over the last two games.”

The historic five-in-a-row achievement is not something Gavin had given much consideration to but he did acknowledge ‘it is phenomenal for Dublin GAA’

“I haven’t really thought about it like that. It is a fact, I’m not denying that it is a fact. It is great for the county, but our primary aim was to get a performance.

“I’m not trying to dismiss it in any shape or form, it is phenomenal for Dublin GAA for this to happen, but when you are going into a game like this you have to focus on trying to get your game plan, game and process right. That is what delivers a performance like you saw today. The result is the outcome of that. Obviously it is a fantastic honour for Dublin, absolutely.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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