Jim Gavin paid tribute to Stephen Cluxton and praised the amount of time that the Dublin captain gives to his team after their All-Ireland final win over Kerry.
Dublin became the first side to win five All-Ireland’s in a row but only at the second time of asking after Kerry held them to a draw in the first final.
Dublin conceded a goal in the drawn match after a fantastic strike from Killian Spillane and Gavin explained to Off The Ball that Cluxton was determined not to concede again in the replay.
“I saw him the day after the [first game]. Him spending two hours on the pitch with Evan Comeford, the goalkeeper, and Michael Shields from Sylvesters.
“The three of them with the goalkeeping coach working on trying to rectify his positioning for Killian Spillane’s goal in the first game.
“So that’s someone who’s dedicated to their craft and the result of that is what you see in those clutch moments,” Gavin explained.
The Dubs’ captain kept a clean sheet in Saturday’s win over Kerry and was particularly driven to see how he may have stopped Spillane from scoring two weeks beforehand.
“He had me out on a bloody laptop trying to play in slow motion the game recorded to see what his feet and positioning were.
“Through that example, he inspires people around him. Stephen is well able to talk. He’s very articulate and people listen.
“But how he demonstrates is through his actions. That’s what I’m interested in and that’s what he does. He’s a doer,” Gavin said.
There has been much speculation that Cluxton, now 37, may retire after sealing the five-in-a-row with his side.
However, Gavin refused to give any indication on whether the Dubs’ talisman would be staying for another year.
“These are all the player’s choices. Obviously there’s a campaign next year and you’re excited about the talent that’s coming around the corner, but each player in the offseason needs to make that choice,” Gavin commented.
For now, Gavin and Cluxton can take a little bit of time off and look forward to Dublin’s homecoming event that will take place in Merrion Square on September 29th.