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Ciarán Whelan: Kerry want Cluxton to kick long, but champions will be in trouble if Dubs break even around the middle


Stephen Cluxton

Stephen Cluxton


Stephen Cluxton

One of the biggest talking points whenever Dublin are in action is the strategy opponents employ to counter Stephen Cluxton's kick-outs. Sunday will be no different.

The Dublin shot-stopper's deadly accurate and instant re-starts are the launching pads for so many attacks and how Kerry manager Eamon Fitzmaurice's decides to address this facet of the Dublin game will be intriguing.

Considering the strength of the Kerry midfield pairing of David Moran and Anthony Maher, it will be interesting to see whether Stephen Cluxton is forced to kick long if the Kingdom press high up the field, or  go short and build play from the back.

Ciarán Whelan believes that while Kerry's are strong in midfield, Dublin should not be afraid to put the ball into play higher up the pitch and go in search of the breaking ball.

"Kerry will want them (Dublin) to go long, and if they do, then they need to be smart," he told Independent.ie.  "Dublin will need to provide extra options around the middle.

"They can hurt Kerry if they win the breaking ball and get at them quick enough."

Speed will also prove an important factor for a Dublin team who will be looking to commit numbers in pressing the Kerry midfield.

Similarly, Kerry will have to look at getting a press on Cluxton's kick-out should he choose to go short, as Whelan points out, he tends to find his man in rapid time.

"It only takes Cluxton six seconds to get them (re-starts) out. If Kerry manage to get a press on three or four they will consider it a success"

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