Saturday 24 February 2018

Tomás Ó Sé reveals Mick O'Dwyer's brilliant old school advice for how Kerry should deal with David Clifford

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

All-Ireland final day delivered a roman scroll full of talking points after Dublin completed a three in-a-row by pipping Mayo in yet another final - but one particular sub-plot has generated a good deal of coverage in its own right.

David Clifford signed off on his minor football career with a spectacular haul of 4-4 in the curtain raiser against Derry, with the Kerry captain driving his county to their fourth straight title at that age grade, and his second.

Talk has now turned to whether Clifford will be involved with Eamonn Fitzmaurice's senior side next year, with Kerry U20 manager Jack O'Connor already admitting that the prodigious talent will likely bypass his set-up.

Writing in today's Irish Independent, Tomás Ó Sé thinks Clifford should be integrated carefully into the Kerry team, and doesn't want people asking too much, too soon of him.

Mick O'Dwyer famously flooded his Kerry side with young guns in the mid-seventies, who subsequently backboned eight All-Ireland-winning teams. Ó Sé recently met the famous manager, and O'Dwyer had some old school advice for how Fitzmaurice should introduce Clifford and some other young players into his squad.

"David Clifford's performance in the minor final, scoring 4-4, was unbelievable and I suspect there'll be a lot of pressure now to see him promoted to the senior squad," Ó Sé said.

"One big talking point in Kerry after the Mayo defeat was the fact that young Sean O'Shea didn't get a run. He's been setting the club scene on fire and recently gave All-Ireland champions, Dr Crokes, a torrid time.

"So Eamonn Fitz will know there's an appetite to get these young fellas in now. I met Micko O'Dwyer on Sunday and he was raving about Clifford.

"Micko's view was that all these young bucks should be brought into the senior set-up immediately and, as he put it, "train the s**t out of them". I was laughing when he said that.

"But the energy is certainly there for Kerry to start blooding young fellas, so long as they get the balance right."

Read Tomás Ó Sé's full column in today's Irish Independent.

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