'He's ahead of Maurice Fitzgerald at this stage in his development' - Peter Keane heaps high praise on David Clifford
Kerry minor manager Peter Keane said that Kingdom minor star David Clifford is further along in his development at this stage of his career than three-time All Star Maurice Fitzgerald was at the same juncture.
Fitzgerald, who is considered by many as the greatest Gaelic Football player of all time, won two All-Ireland medals with the Kingdom over a 13 year intercounty career.
Clifford scored an impressive 4-4 on Sunday as Kerry cruised to record a fourth straight All-Ireland minor football title with a 6-17 : 1-8 win over Derry.
The Fossa forward has been regarded by some as the best minor player ever, and Keane, who grew up with Fitzgerald in Cahirciveen, said that he believes Clifford is at a more advanced stage of his career than Fitzgerald was when he was a minor.
"He was fantastic and he's some talent, and has been that way both last year and this year for us," said Keane.
"Playing awesome. A lot of people would compare him to Maurice Fitzgerald. I have first-hand experience of Maurice, we grew up together in Cahirciveen.
"I would say he's actually ahead of Maurice at this stage in his development for two reasons; one; because I suppose there's more strength and conditioning going on today than there was then, and secondly, he's played in a school team who have gone on and won Hogan Cups and played at a much higher standard.
"If you take Maurice, he played in 1988 in a Munster final when he was the same age as David is today."
Keane also was quick to dispel rumours that Clifford may make a move to Australia to pursue a career in the AFL.
"I think there's a lot of talk about that, sure it's only idle speculation," added Keane.
"There's people talking about that all year. David Clifford will be here and I don't worry about that at all."