Thursday 18 October 2018

Kerry prodigy David Clifford 'not on the radar' of AFL clubs for the moment

Kerry captain David Clifford celebrates with the Tom Markham Cup. Photo: Sportsfile
Kerry captain David Clifford celebrates with the Tom Markham Cup. Photo: Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Kerry minor star David Clifford is no longer a target for Aussie Rules clubs, but that situation could change.

Clifford, who will turn 19 in January, brought the curtain down on his inter-county minor career with two All-Ireland medals and a burgeoning reputation.

He bagged 1-10 in Kerry's semi-final win over Cavan and fired 4-4 when the Kingdom claimed the four-in-a-row with victory against Derry at Croke Park.

His performances have made the most exciting young talent in the country and he is expected to be fast-tracked into Eamonn Fitzmaurice's senior squad in 2018.

Clifford had been linked to a number of AFL clubs but the Fossa clubman will be staying put next year.

Speaking to the official AFL website, former Down and Collingwood star Marty Clarke, who is acting as the AFL Europe specialist coach, said that Clifford's progression will continue to be monitored by Australian clubs.

"I think Kerry have been fairly swift in trying to keep David Clifford because they're hurting by losing to Dublin (in the All-Ireland final), and he could be a key to them turning the tables," Clarke told AFL.com.au.

"His chance (in Australia) may come again if he has another good year or two, but for now he's not on the radar."

Clarke has expressed reservations as to Clifford's ability to adapt to the oval ball game.

"Without knowing him too well, I don't think Australian Rules football would be overly suited to his style of play," Clarke said.

"That's not to say he couldn't make it, he's a superb athlete and a great footballer.

"I haven't spoken to David Clifford at all, but I've admired his performances for his college and for Kerry minors."

There will be 13 Irishman on AFL lists in 2018 after Carlton signed Galway's Cillian McDaid on a two-year international rookie deal last month.

The Dublin duo of Peadar Byrne and James Madden impressed at the European Combine in Dublin at the weekend, so that number could be increasing shortly.

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