Stephen Cluxton is the one man Dublin can’t replace according to Kieran Donaghy, who was on the Shot Clock on this Thursday’s OTB AM.
While Dublin are famous for their strength in depth, Donaghy feels Dublin’s chances of winning another All Ireland would be hampered if the Dubs captain was to get injured.
“Evan Comerford is a good goalie but when you’re going for five in a row and when you’ve the hill behind you and you’re in a tight All Ireland semi-final or final which they’ll be in that’s when Cluxton comes to the fore.
“Even in the past when he’s been rattled he always finds a way to calm himself down and hit the big kick out when he has to,” Donaghy said.
Cluxton, who has made more appearances in the All Ireland Senior Football Championship than any other player, is still going strong at 37 years old.
“When I looked at it with how important he is to the Dubs, we know his leadership, we know the quality of his kickouts and how good of a shot stopper he is, we know he’s missed two championship games in sixteen years.”
“If he was to get injured he’s the only player in that Dublin team that actually diminishes their chances of winning. I think in every other area in the field they have a stop gap, they’ve someone to come in,” Donaghy explained.
While there are arguably a few goalkeepers in the country now playing at Cluxton’s level, his experience makes him invaluable.
“I think other teams and other players have come up a bit….but he literally controls the pace they’re playing at, what way he wants them to move.
“He was international rules captain when I was playing in ‘11 so I know what he’s like inside the dressing room, I know what he’s like in team meetings,” Donaghy commented.
Cluxton is set to add to his tally of 100 championship appearances when Dublin take on Kildare this Sunday in Croke Park.