Mikey Sheehy Confirms “Exceptional” David Clifford Will Feature For Kerry In League

David Clifford Kerry Mikey Sheehy

Kerry look ahead to the Allianz National Football League with anticipation, after a winter filled with regret. The Kingdom were fancied by many for the All-Ireland last summer, following their League final triumph over Dublin. However, the wheels came off after a procession to the Munster title, and after stuttering past Galway, they fell to Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final.

For selector Mikey Sheehy, it was a tough winter as they awaited the new season to set to record straight.

“The [Mayo] replay was very disappointing, hugely disappointing,” Sheehy said at today’s launch of the Allianz National Football League.

“I suppose we got a lot of criticism as a management, probably more than the players but we deserved it because we didn’t perform on the field and we didn’t perform off the field and that’s how you are judged in Kerry, in All-Irelands.

“The winter was tough below. There was a lot of snipers around so we were ducking and diving. But that’s the beauty of sport. We’re looking forward to starting next Sunday week and you are on the horse again and you just get on with it.”

While the Kingdom pondered what might have been, they will have been encouraged by yet another All-Ireland minor title. Naturally, the focus was on the performances of David Clifford, who accounted for 4-04 in the final win over Derry.

Sheehy is excited as anyone about Clifford’s potential.

“He’s training away with the senior players at the moment, we’re back there just a short while and he’s looking good, he’s an exceptional player.

“There’s going to be awful pressure on him and we’d be hoping that we’d manage him. Éamonn Fitz, I think, is very good at doing that with players but there is ferocious expectations when you see a guy, outside of the other minor games that he played, [scoring] four goals and four points in an All-Ireland minor final.

“That’s absolutely phenomenal. He is the most talked about young player in the country. He’s big and he’s strong, he’s still only 19, he’ll be 19 this month. He’s still only a kid, it’s a huge step up from minor to senior. But particularly the way all teams are strength and conditioned now. He’s an exceptional talent and it remains to be seen… certainly will get game-time during the league, there’s no doubt about that.”

For Clifford, the challenge is to manage the expectations in the Kingdom. Sheehy revealed how the county’s fans will be hoping for big things, but he called for patience.

“I wouldn’t say they are unrealistic because they see what they have. The Kerry public can be very critical but they’re excited about him as well.

“I know for a fact that when David will play, and I hope he plays well, but if he has a poor game people will be saying ‘ I wonder is he as good as they’re saying?’

“But he is, he’s an exceptional lad. He has talent and there’s no doubt about it. I use this word patience and they have to be patient with him.”

Kerry get their League campaign underway against Donegal in Killarney on Sunday week.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. View all posts by The PA Team