Sunday 15 September 2019

'Basically, it's the wrong decision' - Tomás Ó Sé hits out at Stephen Cluxton's All Star snub

Dubs star left out once again

Stephen Cluxton and (inset) Tomas O Se
Stephen Cluxton and (inset) Tomas O Se
Cluxton has been honoured five times by All-Star selectors but missed out on the 2018 award. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kerry legend Tomás ó Sé believes Stephen Cluxton is a victim of his own success after he was once again overlooked for an All-Star award.

Cluxton has been honoured five times by All-Star selectors but missed out on the 2018 award after the committee plumped for Monaghan's Rory Beggan ahead of the Parnells man.

It was the third year in a row Cluxton had been nominated only to miss out after Mayo's David Clarke picked up the 2016 and 2017 awards.

And ó Sé insists it was the "wrong decision".

"Basically, it's the wrong decision," the Irish Independent columnist said. "You'll have arguments about what Beggan did and don't get me wrong, he was outstanding.

"It's not about that he (Cluxton) has more than 200 appearances for Dublin or that he has lifted the cup five times (as captain), which is phenomenal. It's about the greatest football team arguably we have ever seen and this fella is the heartbeat of it every single game."

Ó Sé insists Cluxton's brilliance is demonstrated by the way that he has helped change the game.

"He is the most important player in the GAA in the last 50 or 60 years and he has changed the way the game is played.

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"It's now a possession game after him. You don't beat it away anymore. I played with goalies who wore rugby boots and their job was to beat it out to Darragh ó Sé. The fielding midfielder is gone, it's now all about possession.

"And the fact that the greatest man on the greatest team hasn't received one since 2013… it's not about that he deserves one after all this time. And it's not personal on Rory Beggan, but I'd be giving it to him every year.

"Arguably the three greatest footballers of all time in Kerry football are Seamus Moynihan, Pat Spillane and Jack O'Shea. Seamus Moynihan has three All-Stars; it's a farce that I have five and he has three. And they are a victim of their own brilliance these types of fellas. I know he lost just two kick-outs in the All-Ireland final, but I'd say he's well over 90pc (completion rate) in most games."

In all, Dublin have seven players on this year's All-Star team, while Monaghan are next on the list with three. Tyrone have two winners while Donegal, Galway and Kerry win one award each.

2018 FOOTBALL All-Stars: Rory Beggan (Monaghan, 1st award); Jonny Cooper (Dublin, 2nd), Colm Cavanagh (Tyrone, 2nd), Padraig Hampsey (Tyrone, 1st); Karl O'Connell (Monaghan, 1st), James McCarthy (Dublin, 3rd), Jack McCaffrey (Dublin, 3rd); Brian Fenton (Dublin, 3rd), Brian Howard (Dublin, 1st); Paul Mannion (Dublin, 2nd), Ciarán Kilkenny (Dublin, 3rd), Ryan McHugh (Donegal, 2nd); David Clifford (Kerry, 1st), Conor McManus (Monaghan, 2nd), Ian Burke (Galway, 1st).

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