Monday 5 December 2016

Jim Gavin reveals how Stephen Cluxton rallied the troops at half-time following blunders

Published 28/08/2016 | 21:14

Dublin's Davey Byrne and Stephen Cluxton scramble in vain to keep Kerrys Paul Geaney’s effort out
Dublin's Davey Byrne and Stephen Cluxton scramble in vain to keep Kerrys Paul Geaney’s effort out

Stephen Cluxton made two of the most high profile mistakes of his illustrious career but still showed the leadership that marks him out as a great captain.

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An intercepted kick-out allowed Kerry to capitalise and Darran O'Sullivan found the back of the net and in first half injury time, the 34-year-old was beaten in the air by Paul Geaney to concede a goal.

He appeared to be rattled but was back to his reliable self in the second period as his team mates outscored Kerry by seven points to book their place in the All-Ireland final against Mayo on September 18.

Dublin boss Jim Gavin revealed how Cluxton calmed his team mates at the interval.

“[Any anger] wasn’t demonstrated to me. As a captain he spoke very well at half-time about sticking to our game plan. These things happen," he said.

“We’ve seen that look from them before. They showed a few little looks there today, but we saw the look from them before in the league final, last year as well, and in ’13, so it’s not something that we didn’t expect.

“The way we play our game, we don’t play that denying teams space in defence and that counter attacking style of football. We’re very much in some respects open and vulnerable, we accept that, that’s part of our gameplan.

“We accept that against a team like Kerry they’re going to score against you but we stood through to our values and that’s what saw us home in the end.”

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