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"I dropped David a line after that game" | Donaghy measures Clifford's importance

Former Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy discussed reaching out to the prodigiously talented David Clifford in light of the young forward's sending-off during last year's club championship clash between East Kerry and Dingle.

Watching from the stands, Donaghy witnessed what he felt was an excessive display of anger and irritation toward Clifford from the Kerry crowd.

"I dropped him a line after that game," Donaghy revealed on Thursday's OTB AM, "I had been 20-yards away from him in the stand and I'd heard all this shit from the crowd, and certain people from the opposition team giving it to him."

Appearing on his regular segment of the Shot Clock, a discussion pertaining to the occasional rough treatment inter-county players receive when returning to their clubs focused in on Clifford.

"Clifford is really good, really down to earth and I think he's used to being targeted now," Donaghy believes.

"When you're being targeted by senior players and a group of senior defenders, so it's not just the corner-back going and having a word with you, it's every fella having a clip off you when they're near you, [that's different].

"They really try to test your pulse and I think he got a cheap lesson last year in the county championship in Kerry.

"You know, there was a team at that with him from minute 1 right through to the end of the game. There was a replay, and they were at it again, and eventually he snapped."

Sent-off after an altercation with Dingle's Mikey Boyle, Donaghy called for a greater acknowledgment - from fans and club-only players - of the wider picture when dealing with inter-county players.

"I was looking and thinking that these are the same people who'll be hoping David Clifford brings us to the Promised Land," Donaghy said of Kerry's star forward.

"I know it can be parochial but I wish sometimes people would rise above it.

"He's a 19-year-old prodigy that's turned down lucrative money in Australia to try and bring us back to winning All-Ireland's.

"I remember people afterward saying, 'Oh Jesus, he'll have to hold his head!' I was there thinking that he is getting tormented [relentlessly]."

Ultimately, Kieran Donaghy believes the "hugely, hugely intelligent" David Clifford has what is required to learn from such chastening experiences, and will develop an immunity from such treatment in time.

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