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Cluxton's presence is crucial after Jim Gavin departure | Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy says Stephen Cluxton's role in Dublin GAA is even more important after today's shock departure of manager Jim Gavin.

The former Kerry player joined Saturday's Off The Ball to speak about the Dubliner's departure from the county.

Donaghy says the Dublin skipper is even more crucial to the squad after Gavin's departure. He believes the Dublin goalkeeper will make sure standards are kept to the same level, that is if he decides to remain with the All-Ireland champions.

"That will be the biggest challenge for the group but I think as long as Stephen Cluxton is there in the background I don't think any standards will drop. He's the most important man now,' Donaghy said.

The four-time All-Ireland winner isn't sure if the Parnells' player will stay on after Gavin's announcement but thinks it would be best for Dublin if he remained on to 'steady the ship'.

"I don't know, this could possibly help make his mind up, either way - Maybe he bows out with Jim, five-in-a-row but maybe there might be a part of him that's like: 'Look, Jim is gone and I'll stay there and make sure everything is steady for the next year or two and try and win a few more All-Irelands,' said the Kerry man.

The 48-year-old leaves Dublin after six All-Ireland championship titles but Donaghy is adamant Cluxton's presence in the set-up is invaluable going forward.

"I think he's the most important player in that dressing room, and as long as he's there, there will be no standards dropped. Players will be held to the same responsibilities that they've been held to under Jim.

Donaghy underlined the importance of momentum, and how Gavin's successor will be under pressure to follow in the Round Tower man's footsteps.

"You're coming in to try and fill Jim Gavin's shoes. The biggest task for that manager is to come in and have the player's look at him with the same eyes as they did Jim Gavin.

"That will be the biggest test for the new guy, trying to come in and keep that level of professionalism, keep the players in check, and keep the standards high."

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Read more about

Dublin Dublin GAA GAA Jim Gavin Kieran Donaghy Niall Mcgrath Otb Stephen Cluxton

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