Monday 12 November 2018

David Clifford to miss start of Kerry's National League campaign as he undergoes surgery on shoulder

Kerry's David Clifford
Kerry's David Clifford
What would David Clifford be capable of if Kerry — God forbid — played an attack-based game? Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

David Clifford is set to miss the early rounds of the 2019 league with the Kerry sensation undergoing surgery on a troublesome shoulder injury in what is the latest setback for new Kingdom boss Peter Keane.

Clifford is expected to go under the knife next month when his club duties with East Kerry conclude and 'Kerry's Eye' reports that the Fossa teenager will miss between 12 and 16 weeks during his recovery.

Keane is likely to be without his services for at least their opening three league encounters - including the glamour tie with All-Ireland champions Dublin in Tralee on February 9 - while Clifford will also sit out Sigerson Cup duty with IT Tralee.

This is a mini-crisis for Keane with veterans Kieran Donaghy, Donnchadh Walsh, Anthony Maher and Darran O'Sullivan hanging up their boots in recent weeks, while exciting defender Stefan Okunbor will also not be part of Keane's plans as he joins AFL side Geelong Cats on a two-year contract.

It's a testing start to Keane's tenure but the triple All-Ireland-winning minor boss has been adamant that he will play the cards he is dealt.

"I remember being involved with a team once and some fellas asked me, 'What way are you going to play?' How would I know, I might want to play a big full-forward and the biggest fella you might have would be 5ft 2in. Depends on what you have.

"I like an attacking way of football, we go out and we try to play football," he said.

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