‘Nobody knows what’s going on in any players life as to why they need/want a break.’
Former Dublin footballer Paul Flynn has hit out at The Sunday Game’s panellists for suggesting that Stephen Cluxton should clarify whether he has stepped away from the county panel on a permanent basis.
Dublin manager Dessie Farrell revealed that Cluxton had “stepped away” from the county panel on Sunday but added that the experienced goalkeeper had not retired from Gaelic football.
Meath legend Colm O’Rourke was speaking on RTE’s The Sunday Game and aired his view that Cluxton should make it clear to Dublin’s management about whether he will return to the panel at a later date.
The Sunday Game panel believe that Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton should provide clarity on his future to manager Dessie Farrell. pic.twitter.com/qhCZtuHqoZ
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) July 4, 2021
Sean O’Rourke on Stephen Cluxton.
“He’s always been a man of mystery in a lot of respects and he remains that. I suppose he’s inspired a new wave of keepers – Rory Beggan, Sean Patton, those sort of people,” O’Rourke said of Cluxton.
“But I find the whole thing strange. You would think that he would let the management know where he stands. Where does Evan Comerford stand in all this?
“I know Pat Riley, the famous basketball coach, said one thing – ‘When it comes to commitment you’re either in or out. There’s no in between.’
“So I think that Dessie Farrell has been put in a very invidious position. I’m quite surprised that Cluxton hasn’t made it clear.”
Former Kerry great Tomas O’Se echoed O’Rourke’s comments, saying that he should at least tell the Dublin management his decision, although he did acknowledge that Cluxton owed his county nothing.
Paul Flynn hits back at The Sunday Game’s panellists.
Flynn, a teammate of Cluxton’s at Dublin for 11 years, disagreed with The Sunday Game panellists’ take on the situation.
The former Dublin forward argued that the eight-time All-Ireland winner is entitled to step away from the county panel and rejoin the team at a later time if he pleases.
“Stephen Cluxton deserves time and space if he needs/wants it. It’s an amateur sport, he isn’t contracted or obligated (to) play,” Flynn tweeted.
“He can opt in or out or be deselected at any time! Nobody knows what’s going on in any player’s life as to why they need/want a break. Nonsense on the Sunday Game!”
Stephen Cluxton deserves time and space if he needs/wants it. It’s an amateur sport, he isn’t contracted or obligated play. He can opt in or out or be deselected at any time! Nobody knows what’s going on in any players life as to why they need/ want a break. Nonsense on the SG!
— Paul Flynn (@Flinto23) July 5, 2021
Stephen Cluxton’s achievements with Dublin.
While Cluxton is not currently a part of the Dublin panel, Farrell did not rule out the possibility of his star goalkeeper playing a role later on in the championship, but admitted that he did not know Cluxton’s intentions.
The 39-year-old first played for Dublin all the way back in 2009, and has become one of the most-highly decorated players in the history of the sport in that time.
In total, Cluxton has won eight All-Ireland football titles, 16 Leinster football titles, five Division 1 National League football titles, as well as six All-Star awards.