Reports are circulating from Mayo journalists that goalkeeper David Clarke has been dropped for today’s All-Ireland final replay with Dublin with back-up goalkeeper Rob Hennelly set to replace Clarke in goal for Mayo.
Clarke has been on the Mayo senior panel since 2001 and captained Mayo during the 2012 All-Ireland final loss to Donegal, but could now be forced to watch Saturday’s replay from the sidelines with back-up goalkeeper Rob Hennelly potentially replacing the Ballina Stephenites shotstopper in Mayo’s stating line-up.
Hennelly, who started the 2013 final against Dublin, is seen as a better option for short kick outs an area of Clarke’s game that has received great scrutiny throughout his 15 years on the Mayo panel.
Rob Hennelly coming in for David Clarke is a huge call if true.He's definitely a better kicker if tactical change, but Clarke has been solid
— Niall McGarry (@MrNiallMcGarry) October 1, 2016
Rob Hennelly for David Clarke is the rumour de jour. Seems to have considerable traction. #mayogaa
— Edwin McGreal (@edmcgreal) October 1, 2016
— Ronan Mullen (@RonanReigns) October 1, 2016
@offtheball David Clarke dropped. Rob Hennelly starts in goal for Mayo today. Strange
— Meath Man (@MeathisSpecial) October 1, 2016
Clarke is the bookies favourite to win the GAA All-Star award for goalkeeper of the year but could miss out on the All-Ireland final replay if these reports are true.
Mayo manager Stephen Rochford originally named the same starting XV that drew with Dublin in the first final two weeks ago on Friday, and while it’s not unusual for a manager to change his side on the day of a game, dropping the favourite for the goalkeeper of the year would certainly be viewed as a gutsy call by Rochford.